hen is brooding now what? 1st time for both of us.

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Twiggers96, Nov 8, 2011.

  1. Twiggers96

    Twiggers96 Chirping

    Sep 3, 2011
    Arcadia, FL
    My EE has been sitting on a large clutch of eggs for several days now. She shares a large horse stall with her three hen-sisters. I have a few questions:
    1) I have a large rabbit hutch I can move her to - when I do, do I lock her in or allow free exit until day 21 arrives?
    2) Do they ever leave the nest to eat? ? I finally put food/water next to her when I realized she hadn't left in 4 days.
    3) How do I move her & eggs w/out her putting a hole in my hand? (She tried to peck my hand something fierce when I put the food next to her.
    4) last but not least, she is usually a free range chicken, will "locking" her in the hutch be bad or doesn't matter since she won't be leaving the eggs much?

    BtW I live in sunny FLA so freezing temps not much of an issue.

  2. TigerLilly

    TigerLilly I failed Chicken Math

    Jul 18, 2010
    Central Florida
    1 & 4: If she is used to free ranging, I would give her the option of being able to come & go at will, even if she doesn't.
    2: I did the same thing with the banty I had that went broody--I saw her off the eggs once & she was running from the roo
    3: GLOVES are your friend!
    btw-- [​IMG] neighbor!
  3. elmo

    elmo Songster

    May 23, 2009
    Usually a brooding hen will leave the nest once a day to do a huge poop, drink, eat a little and if possible take a dust bath. If the hen is contained in a pen, you can tell she's been off the nest because you can spot the huge dropping. The last day or two before hatch, the hen will often sit tight, though.

    The theory behind isolating a broody from the rest of the flock is so the other hens don't bother her on the nest or add eggs to it, which would result in a staggered hatch and/or eggs left behind partially incubated when the hen leads the hatched chicks off the nest.

    Sometimes when a broody hen is confined in too small an area she won't poop so close to her nest, so she holds it in. That's not good, obviously.

    I used plastic storage bins and a plastic covered kitty litter box for my broodies. That way, I just picked up the whole nestbox, including the broody and her eggs, and moved the box where I wanted to put the broody. It was easy, and I didn't have to disturb the hen or worry about getting pecked.
  4. galanie

    galanie Treat Dispenser No More

    Aug 20, 2010
    I use milk crates for nest boxes and when my girl goes broody I just pick the whole nest up and move her to a "broody area" I made inside the coop. It's just a small area fenced off with chicken wire.

    I pull mine off the nest once a day and make her go out and do her thing for a few minutes. If I don't, she'll often sit there for days w/out ever getting up. Even with food and water inside her area, she won't budge. Let me tell you, the size of that poo after 48 hours.. WHEW! I noticed her never getting up and looking unhealthy so decided during her second batch to get her up myself once a day. I guess some are just like that. This time though she did end up sitting almost 8 weeks as it took me a lot of time to the get the eggs I wanted for her. During her third hatch she knew the routine and didn't object that much during her daily routing lol. She even moves her babies to the "baby coop" herself when they're around 3 days old and when they are about to be 'weaned' moves them into the big coop with her and shows them the roost.

  5. Twiggers96

    Twiggers96 Chirping

    Sep 3, 2011
    Arcadia, FL
    I am thrilled to announce I have TWO broodies!!

    I thought I lost one to a predator but found her today sitting on another clutch.
    Her sister (both EE's) is the other one brooding.
    Oh, the joy!!!

    I've given them water/food close by and will be moving them into the covered litter boxes.
    One will go in the rabbit hutch in the stall she is in and the other is in another stall a few doors down.
    they'll each have their own nursery. [​IMG]

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