Hatching eggs with a hen - would it be possible to move her?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by lemuckley_flock, Jan 31, 2012.

  1. lemuckley_flock

    lemuckley_flock Out Of The Brooder

    70
    2
    41
    Mar 14, 2011
    Sigh. Stressing me out. :lol:

    I had a hen go broody, and we decided to try to hatch some eggs with her. She was sitting in the middle of three nesting boxes. I moved her out to a separated small coop because our other hens were pushing in and laying in the nest she was sitting on, and she was getting all funky freaked out about it. Aside from keeping straight which eggs were hers and which eggs were just laid, I was afraid that two chickens pushing in on her at the same time would break eggs, etc. There was no way to block off that box. Also no way to add a dog crate or other box to their coop so that she could stay with the flock. So I moved her to a small grow-out coop that's right next to the big coop. We put 12 eggs under her on Friday, so she's been on them for about 4 days now.

    She got off the nest on Saturday morning to have a drink, food, anda stretch, and the other chickens freaked out and started beating her up. By the time I got to her her comb was pouring blood and she was frantic (there were 5 or 6 chickens pinning her down and pecking on her, and the rest were watching and jumping in for a peck or two then jumping back out. Since then, she doesn't want to get off the nest at all. She's closed in the coop with food and water, which she hasn't touched at all. So every morning I close the rest of the girls in the big coop then lift her off the nest and throw some corn to try to get her to eat. She'll usually eat a little but not really drink, and the entire times she's clucking and scolding, and just wanting to go sit on her nest. And she's looking all over, almost like she's on lookout for the rest of the chickens coming to beat her up.

    We have a bedroom that we're in the process of redoing. We've been scraping border and sanding, and are done with the noisy stuff now. It's got carpet in it that we're going to take out in the next week or two - it's junk, not re-usable. There's a closet in there too. Anyway, yesterday my dh suggested that we might want to move her into that room, nest in a Rubbermade tote, and food and water right there for her when she wants it. Poop wouldn't be a big deal because the carpet is going anyway. She'd stay warmer than she does down there, and have freedom to get off the nest when she wanted to, without the eggs getting chilled in the 30 degree mornings.

    Then I wonder if she'd really just freak out being in the house? The bedroom door would be shut and she'd have dark privacy for the most part (we'd put the bedroom on hold for the time being). I'm worried about her not eating and drinking, kwim? Does this sound like a potential disaster, or something that might work for us? We're already going to have issues with her joining the flock again....my hope is that protective mama with chicks will hold her own, plus we have 15 more chicks who will be about ready to join the flock about the same time she comes back, so maybe there'll be strength in numbers.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. spikennipper

    spikennipper Chillin' With My Peeps

    893
    21
    141
    Jul 25, 2009
    Kent, UK.
    I'd be inclined to just leave her locked in the grow up coop with access to food and water so the group can see each other but can't touch as long as the food and water is within easy reach she should get up and eat/drink poop etc try not to bother her too much as she will be more likely to stay put otherwise, once the chicks hatch again keep her separate from the main group but allow them to see each other when they are older you can start to integrate them slowly but watch for any aggression distract them with food etc.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by