Day 20 -- Leave broody alone, or take her off the nest?

Morrigan

Free Ranging
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Apr 9, 2014
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Hi, I've been lurking for several months, and have my first broody -- along with a ton of worry and questions.

I got chicks last June -- mix of orpington and sussex. My first chickens ever, so each day has been a learning experience. This forum has been GREAT.

20 days ago, one of my orpington's went broody. I really hadn't expected it to happen so quickly, so I improvised by putting her in a dog crate in the corner of the coop along with the few eggs (4) that happened to still by laying around the coop (yeah, I'm a newbie), some water and food. She has been a most determined brooder. So determined, that she wasn't getting off the nest to eat, drink and "do business." After 3 days and a soiled nest, I started lifting her off the nest and placing her in the yard with the rest of the flock. This routine has worked well for us. She ate drank, took her massive broody business and then hurried back to the nest within 15-20 minutes.

So today was day 19. I was planning on removing her from the nest for one final "business run" tomorrow, then letting her be. Then I read that when it gets close to chicks hatching, you you leave them alone. But, I'm worried about her being on the next for 48+ hours, without food, water or bathroom.

She's a very sweet chicken, and I'd rather lose the eggs than her.

Take her off? Leave her alone?

If I leave the door to the dog crate open, the other chickens try to get to her nest to lay eggs.

Thanks!
 
if i am reading right are you saying she doesnt have access to food and water unless you take her off? i would continue until hatch . i dont think it would be good for her to do without. if any think it could delay hatch . but not by much. good luck on your hatch.
 
if i am reading right are you saying she doesnt have access to food and water unless you take her off? i would continue until hatch . i dont think it would be good for her to do without. if any think it could delay hatch . but not by much. good luck on your hatch.
Thanks, she does have access as I put awater and food dish in the dog crate with her. She just doesn't seem interested, unless I break the trance and put her in the yard.

I think I will take her out tomorrow again for one more time.
 
Thanks, she does have access as I put awater and food dish in the dog crate with her. She just doesn't seem interested, unless I break the trance and put her in the yard.

I think I will take her out tomorrow again for one more time.

If it helps my broody got off her nest for a quick poop run and food a few hours before her first egg pipped the outer shell... She would be fine for a few min...
 
That does help, thanks. I just want her to be comfortable and in a position to be a good mother if any of her 4 eggs hatch. My rooster definitely plays favorites, so I'm not sure all the eggs are fertile.
 

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