Do I need to move my broody hens?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by sandy sea, Apr 27, 2009.

  1. sandy sea

    sandy sea Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 19, 2008
    Gavilan Hills, CA
    As of two days ago I have two broody hens. Should I move them away from the other 16 hens and 2 rooster? Tonight I just put a baby gate up against the 2 nest boxes with the broody hens, I do not want any more hens laying eggs in those boxes. How and where do you move the eggs and broody hens? Does each broody hen need a separate area to nest and raise the chicks. Looking forward to my first hatching or baby chicks if everything works out.
     
  2. BellLisamo

    BellLisamo Diagnosed w/ Muscovitis

    Feb 7, 2009
    Tombstone, AZ
    here are my 2 broodys... i took them out and put them here...

    [​IMG]
     
  3. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    From what I understand it's best to move the broodies to their own space where they aren't bothered by other chickens. If you move them at night it's less likely to upset them.
     
  4. sandy sea

    sandy sea Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 19, 2008
    Gavilan Hills, CA
    I tried to move them this evening, but I got pecked really bad. I am going to try again with gloves tomorrow night. I like the idea of the dog crates. I will pick two tomorrow. After putting the hens and eggs in do I just keep adding food and water and leave the door closed? Should I open it up a few times a day for them to go poop?
     
  5. sandy sea

    sandy sea Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 19, 2008
    Gavilan Hills, CA
    I forgot to say that one hen has about 16 eggs and the other has about 6 or 7. I was not completely sure that I had 2 broodies and yesterday I was gone all day. Woke up to lots of eggs in the nest boxes. I have 7 nest boses but the hens seen to only use 2 or 3. Should I split up the eggs evenly between the two broodies?
     
  6. BellLisamo

    BellLisamo Diagnosed w/ Muscovitis

    Feb 7, 2009
    Tombstone, AZ
    Quote:yes split them up. they wont know the difference. as for the kennels, people say to open them up and let them out to go potty, mine dont move... they wouldnt get up if there were a flood or tornado coming.....

    like horton the elephant
     
  7. montcapu

    montcapu Chillin' With My Peeps

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    laingsburg, MI
    I agree that moving them is a good idea, Ifound out the hard way, I had 2 broody birds and 1 hatched fine but the other one did not, at 2 weeks when I checked fertility she was lying on 7 fertile eggs, I do not bother them after that, but it seemed that I did not bother her but my other hens did and apparently kicked her off her nest and laid more eggs, so at the edd she was trying to sit on 13 eggs and she is a bantam cochin, so she was unable to get them to hatch, but they did not bother my other hen
     
  8. sandy sea

    sandy sea Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 19, 2008
    Gavilan Hills, CA
    If all goes well I should be able to tell if they are alive a 2 weeks?Any sooner? I am going to split the eggs equally to both hens tomorrow. Wish me luck. Thanks
     
  9. BellLisamo

    BellLisamo Diagnosed w/ Muscovitis

    Feb 7, 2009
    Tombstone, AZ
    Quote:i candle at day 7 and day 18. but under a hen i leave em be
     
  10. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

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    Mar 12, 2008
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    Broodies need their own space to keep other hens from interrupting them by laying new eggs in their nests, and also to keep the broody from getting lost on her way back from her breaks and going to set in a different nest.

    You can either fence off a space around your broody or move her to a new location. If at all possible, I think it's best to make a barricade around the hen where she is. I like to use the wire tops of guinea pig cages, just place it over the hen in her nest. Or use pieces of wire fencing or boards or whatever. Make sure to give her room to poop, and her own food & water dishes.

    If it isn't feasible to do that, then move the hen & her eggs. It's best to do this after full dark, and try to move as much of the nest & even the nest box if you can. My nest boxes are flat-sided feed buckets and if a hen starts to brood in one of those I can simply pick up the whole bucket, hen, eggs & straw at once. If you can't move the nest box, try to slide a sheet of stiff cardboard or a thin piece of wood under the whole nest, to scoop up everything at once.

    Some hens are more committed to brooding than others. Some will stick with their eggs no matter where you put them. Others don't handle the change as well, and might stop brooding after they've moved. That's why it helps to do it after dark & to try and keep as much the same as you can.

    Most of my broodies are bantams and I seldom let them incubate their own eggs. I let them get started, situate them in their secure location, then swap the eggs they had with other eggs from my standard size hens. I'd rather have more big birds than banties.

    If you can't barricade the broody or move her, the next best thing to do is mark the eggs she starts with -- I draw a line all the way around the egg with a pencil -- and then check the nest each night and remove any new eggs that are added.

    I wish you & your hens great success, let us know how it turns out!
     

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