Having trouble moving broody hen

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Amina, Apr 14, 2016.

  1. Amina

    Amina Chillin' With My Peeps

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    A few days ago, I had a hen go broody. This is my first time having a broody hen, and I'd like to have her hatch eggs, but not sure what to do. The nest she was in is not suitable for hatching. That nest was in the main coop and it's where all the other hens like to lay their eggs. Not only that, but one of my hens has been laying soft-shelled eggs on occasion. Those tend to break in the nest, and I just don't want that to happen in a nest where I've got a broody trying to hatch eggs.

    So I fixed up another enclosure for my broody hen, away from the flock, and made her a nest in there with several golf balls. Last night after dark, my husband and I moved the broody to her new location. She is not accepting it. She spazzed out last night and would not stay on the new nest. This morning she's just standing around in the middle of the enclosure. I think I haven't completely broken her of broodiness, because if I look at her without even approaching, she puffs up and screams at me. So far, she is not sitting on the golf balls. And she keeps doing her alarm call noise off and on (bok bok bok ba-KAW!)

    Any advice?
     
  2. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

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    I'd suggest trying to rig something up inside the main coop. Thats where she is used to sleeping and feels secure (they also hate change of any kind). You may wish to mark the fertile eggs that she is sitting on, so you can remove additional eggs laid by other hens as a second best alternative, bearing in mind you soft shell layer.

    Good luck
    CT
     
  3. nchls school

    nchls school Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Let the hen brood a few more days in the coop and then try again to move her in the dark. If the nest in the coop is movable, leave the hen on the nest and move the whole works. Also, not all hens will accept being moved. You may have to trust to luck and let her brood in the coop. Be sure to mark the eggs so you can remove fresh ones that are laid.
     
  4. Amina

    Amina Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The coop doesn't have much extra space, so it would be very tricky if not impossible to fence off an area for her with her favorite nest box, a food and water station, and enough space to poop and such. If I let her go back to the main coop to brood there, I guess I'd have to mark her eggs and trust to luck. What are the chances that an egg that gets another egg broken on it would still be able to hatch?
     
  5. Amina

    Amina Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Her chosen nest box is moveable. Would I have a better chance of her accepting the new location if she's got her favorite box? Or am I better off trusting to luck with her in the main coop? Or should I just wait longer today and see if she shows any interest in this new nest?
     
  6. nchls school

    nchls school Chillin' With My Peeps

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  7. Amina

    Amina Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Okay, I let her go back to the coop, and she quickly went back and sat in the nest there. If I try moving her and her nest box, when should I try that? Tonight?
     
  8. nchls school

    nchls school Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It's hard to know what the right approach is. I guess I'd wait a day, but likely that wouldn't change things. Tonight or tomorrow night, make the change in complete darkness.

    And if she doesn't settle down let her go back to her original nest.
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2016
  9. Island Juli

    Island Juli Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have the same issue. I have a silkie, first time brooder, sitting on 5 eggs. She's in the one box out of 7 that they all choose to lay in.

    It's about 3 feet off the ground, but has a high lip, so I think I'm going to leave her in there. We went out today and her sister was sitting with her, so maybe I'll have co-mommies.

    I did mark the eggs she was on so I can pull the new ones out. She jumped off the nest when we did this, ate, drank, pooped and preened for about 5 minutes and then went back on the nest. I have high hopes for a hatch on 5/4/16!

    I have 7 eggs in an incubator due in 6 days, so I ordered a second 'bator in case she stops sitting. If so, I'll grab the eggs and finish them in the 'bator.

    Good luck with yours! Keep us posted.

    Juli
     
  10. Amina

    Amina Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, we tried moving my broody again this evening, and I am cautiously optimistic that we were successful! We moved her chosen nest box, made sure there were several golf balls in there, and then stuck the hen on them. She stayed put this time, and didn't make alarm calls like last night! We got growled at, but that stopped as soon as she was back in her box. Guess I won't know for sure til tomorrow whether she's going to stay, but I'm hopeful. If she stays put all day tomorrow, I'm planning to give her the eggs tomorrow night.

    The nest is about a foot off the ground due to how it's built (2 nest boxes, one on top of the other, but everyone just likes the top box). I guess that won't be too bad a fall for the chicks, though.
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2016

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