First Broody Hen - Day 16 - Can I move her?

SpicyDisaster

Songster
May 30, 2021
143
493
126
Eastern WA
Our little Ancona Ferdie has ben sitting on some fertilized eggs for 16 days now. We candled them several days ago and 3 of the 4 eggs have movement inside! Incredibly exciting experience with our kiddos as this is our first year with chickens. With the pandemic I'm working from home full time and have the coop in view for most of the day. Ferdie has her normal break time out of the coop for about five minutes three times a day. Yesterday I noticed she was out at an odd time for longer than usual and got worried she'd broken out of broodiness. Turns out another hen had taken her spot on the nest, as soon as I removed the offender Ferdie was back on her nest clicking away at anyone who came near. I just came back in from checking on the girls this afternoon and noticed Ferdie up on the roosts puffed up and agitated... the offending hen was back in her nest again moving the eggs. Again, as soon as she was removed Ferdie was back in the box.

I'm worried as I leave for a business trip tomorrow and won't be her to play nest-cop. We were thinking about setting up a separate pen in the garage (heated) for Ferdie and her chicks to relocate to once the chicks hatch. Now I'm wondering if it would be better to move her now so she isn't having her nest stolen and messed with as we near hatching day. I'd like to move her tonight if it's a good idea to move her but am worried that we will break her of the broodiness if I move her.

Thank you!!
 

sourland

Broody Magician
Premium Feather Member
12 Years
May 3, 2009
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Is there any way you can block other birds from accessing her? I would be concerned that she might break broodiness if you move her.
 

SpicyDisaster

Songster
May 30, 2021
143
493
126
Eastern WA
IMG_20211018_221638_531.jpg

We did separate her from the other hens and would lift up the fence to give her a broody break. This worked out better than expected so we've taken the sides out and made the 4 boxes into one large area so she has a safe place with her chicks. Two hatched yesterday! One pipped and made about an inch of progress but then stopped. The fourth egg has not pipped. Not sure we will see those two make it.
IMG_20211022_223346_848.jpg
 

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