how to handle broodyness?


7 Years
Aug 3, 2015
Do we segregate the broody ma-to-be or let nature take its course? I'd think the former, considering the other birds in what's supposed to be the same flock will steal food meant for chicks. Then if segregated certainly there oughta be a time limit on that, but i dunno what? Then i feel reluctant to move or disturb them. If I move the broody hen and her eggs is there a more-sure-to-be successful way? Or I supposed I could just erect a chicken wire fence around where the broody hen chooses. It's just we lost 15 chickens to our neighbour's dog this last summer, all at once too. They did give 6 pullets as make up, but that was relatively cosmetic. So I'd like a successful spring to jettison fwd with. Thanks much for tips. Nick
We segregate Mommas, but let them back in with the flock once the chicks are eating and running around. Never had any problems, but we also free-range and have a good rooster. That may not work for you in a closed coop and run system, I've never used an entirely closed coop and run.

We segregate broodies because they will steal eggs. They will take eggs from other chickens. Sometimes bolder chickens will chase them out of the nest and lay new eggs on top of the nest--and the fight can damage the eggs. Far better to move momma, in my opinion.

I move the nest beforehand, into a small rubber feed pan. My nest boxes allow me to move this pan into and out of the box without too much trouble. At night, I take it, hen and all, and slip the rubber pan into a cardboard box. There are airholes in the side, and feed and water at one end. She should not be able to see much, but should be able to make out food, water, and the nest.

I transport the (closed) box to my preferred nesting location and leave it there, still closed, for several days, except when cleaning up the poops and replenishing food and water. I open the box when I'm confident she's bonded with the nesting site.

This has always worked for me, but my hens tend to be pretty determined broodies (usually the hens I have to move are bantam game hens.) On the other hand, if she's disturbed enough to break broodiness during the move, I'm not sure I'd trust her to raise a nest anyway.

While the chicks are growing, you can switch to all-flock crumbles and feed free-choice, if you don't already. Just supplement calcium on the side for the laying hens.

And do have a plan for roosters, of course.
I tried that free ranging business, but i didn't like when they got too close to the road. Felt the situation drift from control, and i dont think anyone considers me a control freak. Hmm, either way, i give them a plenty big & lengthy (outdoor) run and their coop remains under capacity. Maybe thanks to predators, but (shrug). We have 3 roosters 26 hens. Maybe time for some coq au vin, eh. Brandy's a bit rich. Not for my tastes, just my pocketbook. I know, improv. Who knows i may even improve. No accounting for taste, eh. I am reluctant to move them, but thanks to your encouragement will if situation deems necessary, or just 'nuf better. Lookin fwd to forthward springing>>>
Luckily we got a mobile chicken coop (not so mobile anymore, but works as sits) cuz at time i thought it'd be redundant, but now I've seen its light. Instead of disturbing the broodies, which I didn't wanna do, or now seems isn't due. Took a while to get it together, fencing in the coo leaving a decent 'nuf run surrounding. I filled it to the 9 bird capacity as stated by fellow who sold it to me. I've quoted him on here before, "every jailbird deserves a prison yard". So I moved the 2nd fiddle rooster over there when perimeter finally got secured. Then followed with 8 non-broody hens after dark when transport's easy. Timing another lucky point. Chicks emerged the very next day. I had caught No. 2 Roo boinking a broody and at that I pulled him from the main coop. Now the atmosphere has risen to ambience (read with French accent) level. Now I feel it safe to say this thread is resolved, as said on the Permies forum, or somewhatlike


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