Found broody hen, now what???

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by chicken overrun, Aug 21, 2013.

  1. chicken overrun

    chicken overrun New Egg

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    Aug 21, 2013
    So I had a hen go missing nearly 3 weeks ago. Yesterday I saw her running across the yard so I followed her and sure enough, she has a clutch of 8 eggs! Sneaky girl! The problem is that she is just under a clump of weeds and we have several predators around here. Most of our chickens are kept in runs but a couple of them can fly out, she being one of them.

    What do I do now? Going by the day I discovered her missing the chicks could start hatching on Friday! Can I move her at this point? Do I leave her be and just try to catch her when I see her out with some chicks? I will take some food and water closer to her tomorrow so she doesn't have to run across the yard, just not sure if I should be doing more to protect her and the potential chicks.
     
  2. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    Welcome to BYC [​IMG] Most broody hens do not take kindly to being moved and with her "due date" so close I'd vote for leaving her where she is and moving her and the chicks to a safe spot once they've hatched. The chicks should be done hatching about 2-3 days after the hatch starts, so keep an eye on the situation and move her and them in the evening, when she's calm and sleepy and less likely to throw a fit.
     
  3. econerd

    econerd Out Of The Brooder

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    is she in a place where you can lower a cage of some kind over her to protect her, like a rabbit run? cover the top for protection and leave a dish of food and a rabbit drinking bottle for her and put something heavy on top to secure it all down.
     
  4. chicken overrun

    chicken overrun New Egg

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    Aug 21, 2013
    Thanks for the welcome Sumi! I still have to post my intro, but I will get to that eventually! I thought it might be better to leave her, just worried about the skunks and foxes that regularly go through our yard.

    Econerd I will have to see what I have that could work. The weeds are pretty tall, so I am not sure if I can get something lowered without disturbing her too much. Maybe I can but a fence of some sort and then put some wire over the top. More thinking needed!
     
  5. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    If she's been setting for 3 weeks already, if it were my hen, I'd just take the chance and leave her until the chick hatch (which should be soon) and then move them to a safe place. If you had found her earlier, I would suggest moving her and her nest to a safer location. Chickens are usually pretty easy to move at night.
     
  6. thechooks22

    thechooks22 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You can move her to a safer spot...i have heard bybmoveing them to where you want then placing a dark box on top and leave her without food or water for 24 hours under the box ....then when you take it off she will stay where you move her to goodluck
     
  7. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    I would not leave a chicken in a dark box without food or water for 24 hours... especially water.
     
  8. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    This is supposed to be a way to make them go broody -- but could conceivably cause death in hot weather.

    Chicken overrun, while it is not a good idea, I did once move a broody and her nest a few days before the hatch was due, successfully. I moved her into a large sort of broody cage, maybe 5' x 5', so she couldn't return to her old spot, and she accepted the move. I wouldn't have tried it if I didn't have a place to contain her. If predators are a great danger where she is, you could take the chance. But Sumi's approach does avoid the possibility that she will abandon her nest.
     
  9. thechooks22

    thechooks22 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well im not sure ...i have never done it its just what the breeder of our wyandottes said when he was telling us about them .....our hens dont mind being moved around so i have never done this
     
  10. chicken overrun

    chicken overrun New Egg

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    Aug 21, 2013
    Good news! I decided to just leave her where she was and keep a close eye on her. The in-laws arrived from the States (we live in Canada) for a visit on Sunday, and as we were walking around our little hobby farm I saw she was out with her chicks! I knew they had started to hatch on Friday, I couldn't resist and had to peek! Lol! Anyway, I caught the chicks easily, she was a little harder. They are now in a safe and secure cage, and they are so cute! She is a black americauna (maybe a cross, not sure) the rooster is Rhode Island Red (I think!). She hatched 6 out of the 8, 3 are black with blond wing tips and 3 are brown striped! She is a great mother hen, fusses over them, showing them how to drink, so cute![​IMG][​IMG]
     

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