How Do U Relocate a Broody Hen?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Barry Natchitoches, Jun 13, 2011.

  1. Barry Natchitoches

    Barry Natchitoches Songster

    Sep 4, 2008
    I have a little hen -- an Isa Brown, no less -- who is definitely going broody. She is about a year and a half old right now.

    The problem is that she is trying to take over the only nest that the girls will lay in. They have four nests -- all identical -- but they refuse to lay in three of them. They will actually fight to lay in the one nest, or hold their egg in until "the preferred nest" becomes available, rather than lay in a nest that sits right beside it, and is identical in every way. And yes, I've even put ceramic eggs in the other nests to encourage laying, but to no avail. They all want to lay in that one nest.

    This little girl, whose name is Brownie, is lower on the pecking order then about half of the other birds. And we have two hens in particular -- both Delawares -- who pretty much get whatever they want.

    So when one of the birds higher on the pecking order gets around to laying their egg, they force Brownie out of the nest. But as soon as they lay and clear out, Brownie goes back to brood.

    Anyway, I am figuring I need to move Brownie, so that she can have a place to brood where she will not be bullied, and the other girls can go back to laying without a brood in the only "chicken-socially acceptable" nest.

    How do I move her without upsetting her anymore than necessary?

    Also, I'm planning on moving her into a wire dog cage inside the regular henhouse, where she will be near the other birds, but protected from them.

    But I will have to close the door, at least for a day or two till Brownie gets used to her new "home", or else she will just get up and move right back onto the "preferred nest" and go right back brooding where SHE has chosen to do so.

    So how do I handle her need to drink, eat, and poop? I can put water and food in the cage with her, but I learned from my last broody that she will not poop in the dog cage while brooding, no matter what. The last time I had a broody, she went three days without pooping, until I manually moved her out of the cage -- and then she did it with just mere seconds. I ended up having to move the broody everyday to get her to poop. With a closed door, she might not poop, even though the cage is about 3 feet by 2 1/2 feet by 3 feet high.
  2. BantamoftheOpera

    BantamoftheOpera Songster

    May 24, 2010
    Southern Maine
    I'd like to know this info myself. I've got an EE who gets up onto a shelf that we blocked off, but she's small enough to fit into the hole. She went Broody the other day and even though we don't have a rooster now, we will soon. I can only imagine the future babies walking off the shelf falling to their deaths.
  3. moondog425

    moondog425 Chirping

    Jul 29, 2010
    Move her at night and you should'nt have any problems [​IMG]
  4. stonykill

    stonykill Crowing

    Sep 16, 2010
    Canaan Ny
    EVERY time I try to move a broody, she breaks her brood. Night, day, midday, 3 in the morning, it doesn't matter. I break the brood.

    So I never move broody's. I either purposely break them, or let them sort it out. And so far, from my 7 broody's this year, the ones that had nest stealing going on, took care of it themselves. What I do is mark the egg the broody is on. And everyday when she is off the nest to eat, I remove the eggs that are new. Eventually, the broody gets mad enough, or scary enough, that the other girls leave her alone.
  5. kano

    kano Songster

    Aug 24, 2008
    Santiago de Chile
    I always move the broodies. I have some small coops for them ( 1x 2 mts) where is a nest box, (water and food, NOT close to her). I lock her in there for 24 hrs. The following day I remove the lid, and she stays there. I have done this numerous times, and failed 1.
  6. I have a nest box that I can move. When one of the bantam hens starts laying eggs when she is going broody I collect her eggs and put them in the movable nest box. When she decides to sit I take her at night and put her and the last eggs she laid into the movable nest box and into a large cage. They usually go right into the nest box without any problems. My silkie hen is laying eggs again, this time when she starts to sit and is moved I plan to take a couple of her eggs and replace them with a couple of chicks from the feed store with her when her eggs hatch to see if she adopts them. That will give me replacement egg hens without paying a lot of money for large hens almost ready to start laying.

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