First time owners with broody hen

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by layla93, May 23, 2016.

  1. layla93

    layla93 Out Of The Brooder

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    Hello, we have had our chickens for just over a month now and today one of our hens is broody- she's sitting on 5 eggs.

    She's currently sitting on the eggs in the nesting box but we are hoping to move her. Would a dog crate placed inside the coup be enough room for her? As she has only been sitting on the eggs for a few days is it too early to move her or should it be done as soon as possible? The only other question we have is if the dog crate is suitable, will the bars be too far apart or will the chicks not leave the crate unless with mum?

    We are so excited! We have a rooster with the flock so we aren't sure if the eggs or fertile but time will tell.

    Any advise would be greatly appreciated!
     
  2. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    Huh - I posted a whole long reply - I wonder where it went... Anyway, I'll try again. It may or may not work to move your broody. I've had it go both ways. It can be more effective to move them at night with as little light and commotion as possible. Again, I've had it work and not work that way, but again - I've had better luck moving them at night. Do you plan on leaving the door to the dog crate open so she can get out when she wants to eat, drink, stretch her legs and poop when she needs to? That's how I would do it. If you do leave the door open, I would suggest marking her eggs so you can remove any extras that might appear when she's off the nest doing her thing.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2016
  3. Den in Penn

    Den in Penn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have used a cat carrier with the door off, for the broodies nest. That is obviously too small to close the door with the food and water inside. So it will depend how you are handling food and water. Once you are sure she is brooding she can be moved any time. I would suggest after dark so she is more likely to stay with the new nest. Moving the nest materials with the eggs will also help her feel it is the right place to stay. As for the chicks staying with the mother. For the first twenty four hours they usually stay close, but the mother may stay on the nest longer for the lagging hatchers. So the first hatched may start to wander, not far, but probably far enough to go through the wider spaced grid of a larger kennel. Since my flock has experience with chicks I don't worry about day olds wandering. If this is your first hatch with this flock, if you feel that safe is better, then you might want to line around the bottom with something they can't go through till mom is ready to escort them.
     
  4. layla93

    layla93 Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you both so much for your replies! We were planning on leaving the door of the crate open at the moment so she is able to walk around and interact with the flock, plus getting her to eat at the moment is a bit of a challenge so we are putting her favourite foods out trying to encourage her.

    When the chicks arrive we are planning on closing the door to the crate as it's quite large and leaving a food and water dispenser in there for her and the chicks. This is just because we aren't sure what our flock with be like the the chicks. We will let them out of the crate with mum when we are around.

    Thanks so much again for taking the time to reply. We are quite nervous but excited to watch nature do its thing!
     
  5. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

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    I understand that you are a little apprehensive, but momma will protect her chicks. I raise mine in the coop, and the flock generally ignores little chicks, and even if they are inquisitive, momma soon puts a stop to it. I've even had other hens (that do not go broody) act as aunts to the chicks. Most importantly, deal with things in a way which you feel is best for you - the more you do it, the more confident you will become.

    Good luck and let us know how it goes
    CT
     
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Is she staying on the nest all day and all night?
    She will only come off the nest to eat, drink and drop a huge poop once a day....you might not see her do it.
    Don't put feed/water where she can reach it from the nest, she needs to get up and move around a little and poop outside of the nest.
     
  7. layla93

    layla93 Out Of The Brooder

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    She had been sitting all day and night but we tried to move her today with no luck. She got straight out of the crate and ran around and went back into the laying box she was originally in. Then when we picked her up to put her back and lock the crate door she wouldn't nest and kept clucking and was very distressed looking for her laying box. So we put her and the eggs back in the laying box and she hasn't moved since. Any suggestions?
     
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    When I had a broody in the main nests, I moved her to an enclosure with fake eggs in a portable floor nest.
    It took almost the whole day of her pacing the wire wall before she settled back onto the nest.
    After I was sure she would stick to it...another 24 hours...I gave her fresh fertile eggs and she was good to go!
     
  9. layla93

    layla93 Out Of The Brooder

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    That sounds like a smooth transition! The only issue we have is that she's been sitting on these eggs for two days now and they were fertilized (we hope!) by our rooster so we aren't sure if we can take them away from her for that long if she's already been sitting on them.

    We got her from someone else and isn't very people friendly, so the fact we had to touch her to move her was enough to make her very distressed. All our other chickens love us but she will usually only come close if we have food.
     
  10. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    You may have to sacrifice those eggs and start over with fresh eggs once you get her settled where you want her.
     

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