Is it okay to move my broody and her eggs?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by gckiddhouse, Feb 8, 2009.

  1. gckiddhouse

    gckiddhouse Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 9, 2008
    Desert Hills, AZ
    I have searched for information on this site and didn't find what I was looking for. Couldn't decide where to post this question. Hope you all can help. Actually I have several questions...

    I have a broody which is so exciting. [​IMG] I wanted to hatch some eggs that I am buying under her, but decided that since this is her first time, I won't trust her with my expensive eggs. But just for kicks I put some of the other hens' eggs under her and she is doing it!!! [​IMG]

    My first question is about the viability of the eggs. I am in Phoenix [​IMG] so the weather is beautiful. It is around 70-75* during the day and down to 45-55* at night (don't hate me). I collected eggs from my hens for 2 days and put them under the broody. For the first 3 days she didn't do the best job of staying on the eggs. She left them for several hours a day that i know of. By the 4th day, she started spending all day on them. So, will any of the eggs hatch???

    She is in the coop and the nesting box is up high. I need to get her down on the ground floor. Is it okay to move her and her eggs? How should I go about doing it?

    The other hens seem to be very hostile toward her. When she came out to eat this evening, they were all mean to her and chased her away from food and water. She ended up going back in the nest without much to eat. Why are they doing that?

    I have put a large wire dog crate in the coop with a nest box and lots of space for her to walk around. I am thinking I will put food and water in there so that she can stay healthy. I will still let her out to roam if she wants, but if the others won't let her eat, then I want her to have another source. Is this what I should do?

    She doesn't seem very strong as far as standing up to the other hens. They regularly succeed at kicking her out of the box and getting in there to lay. Will she toughen up when the babies arrive? Or will I have to keep her and them separated from the mean hens?

    I really want this to happen as naturally as possible. I wanted her to hatch them with the other chickens and let them become part of the flock. I am concerned that if they are separated too much that the others won't accept the new ones. Is this something I should worry about?

    This whole hatch is just experimental, but I want to learn from it and as it happens. So thanks so much for any advice you can give me. [​IMG]

    Should I have posted on Behavior and Egg laying??

  2. Delta2 23

    Delta2 23 Flock Master

    Sep 4, 2008
    Sorry to hear about your hen being treated so badly by the other chooks...

    Water and food in her own little area is a good idea. And it might take a while for the others to adjust to having chicks with them so keep them separate at first- the chickens can kill the little ones.

    You should be able to move her, she might bite you though. I'm not sure, I've never had a broody before but you could move the eggs when she goes out to eat then when she comes back in pick her up and put her on the new nest.

    Good luck! [​IMG]
  3. gckiddhouse

    gckiddhouse Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 9, 2008
    Desert Hills, AZ
    Quote:She doesn't bite at all. She is a sweet BO. I was just worried that she might not accept the new nest or that I would kill the eggs by moving them. But it is okay to move them?
  4. tiki244

    tiki244 Flock Mistress

    Jan 1, 2008
    The dog crate is good. I would move her at night when there is less to distract her. Put the crate someplace where the other chickens cant get right up next to it. She will want to be in a secluded space in fairly dark spot. Maybe you could cover the crate with something. But you dont want her to get too hot. I dont know how big the cage is, but I think leaving her in the cage with food and water would be better than letting her run with the other chickens. You will have to clean up the cage every day,just a little bit, dont disturb her just scoop out the broody poop, for there will be some real stinky broody poop. Give her a little extra protein. She will probably only get off the nest once a day. The eggs should still be viable.

    She should be away from the other hens when she has the babys too. 1-2 months,,,they should have their own area. More for health reasons, because they wont be so immune to everything like adult chickens are. She will do a wonderful job at protecting her chicks, dont worry about that.
  5. jimnjay

    jimnjay Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 11, 2007
    Bryant Alabama
    A dog crate is exactly what I use for my broodies. Sometimes they get upset at being moved and will not go back to sitting on the eggs. Leave her there for several days with the eggs to make sure. With the eggs you have under her they may or may not still be viable. The hens will usually lay eggs for 8-12 days staying on the nest for longer and longer periods each day. They do leave their nest of eggs and then begin to set when they have as many as they think they need. With that in mind, I would say if the eggs are fertile they should be fine.

    Having a hen hog the nest is usually upsetting to the others, they want their turn and make it known that the one hogging the nest is not welcome.

    One word of caution, You may not have this problem with BOs but my little bantam chicks were able to squeeze between the wire in the crate I have. It got stuck and I was able to free it before any damage was done. If your crate is one of the larger ones you may want to attach something around the lower 6-8 inches.

    Good luck and enjoy the experience, It is just wonderful to have a momy hen with babies
  6. CityGirlintheCountry

    CityGirlintheCountry Green Eggs and Hamlet

    Jul 7, 2007
    Middle TN
    I have relocated two broodies now. Why is it they always pick the worst possible spot to go broody? Both times I got the new area ready and then moved a couple of eggs and then the hen. The girls grumbled a bit, but then got back to business as I started handing in the rest of the eggs. Once they got the new nest to their liking they hunkered back down and were fine. I too used a plastic dog crate tucked up in the corner of the coop with an area in front of the crate fenced off to keep the big girls out. It worked great.

    I don't know if all broodies are like mine, but at least my first one turned into a velociraptor once her babies got here. The others couldn't even get near her. I kept them seperated for about a week and then allowed them to mingle as mama hen saw fit. It all worked out fine. Just keep an eye on them all for a bit to make sure the babies aren't getting pecked by the other big hens.

    Congrats on the broody! It's exciting and nerveracking all at the same time. And then one day you'll go out and presto! There will be sweet little fuzzing running around. Take tons of pictures along the way. The babies grow impossibly fast!
  7. Beau coop

    Beau coop Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 19, 2008
    I just experienced a similiar situation. My broody was in everyone's favorite nest box and the other girls were piling on to lay there eggs- why they won't use the other one [​IMG]

    Any way I sectioned off an area in my coop for her with enough room to walk around. She has her own food and water sources. The other birds can see into her area but can't see her. the back of her nest box faces the other girls. My DH helped me move her when everything was prepared. We did it at night when everyone was quiet, he reached in and took her out, nest box and all. Being very careful not to disturb any thing. She warbled a bit, but that was it. She is a very gentle broody. He then put her in her new enclosed area, we shut the door and left. She has done very well and hasn't missed a beat. She does like to come off the nest and wander with the group for a few minutes each morning for some food and potty break.

    Be prepared for the stink of broody poop! UGH!

    Good luck. We should be hatching around the 20th.
  8. gckiddhouse

    gckiddhouse Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 9, 2008
    Desert Hills, AZ
    Thanks all!! [​IMG] I so appreciate your advice. I will keep you all posted if you stay tuned. I guess the little fuzzy butts will be due around the 25th or so. Beau Coop, keep us posted on your hatch. Should we start another thread so we can share. I am so excited!

    I started her out with like 8 or ten eggs, and she is up to 15, so I know the other hens have been continuing to lay in her box.

    The dog cage I am using is large, like 4 feet by 2 1/2 feet. I have a Rubbermaid tub turned on it's side with a log in front of it to create a nest. I lined the bottom with hay and wood chips. So she has the nest in the back of the crate and then about a 2 1/2 square foot space to walk around and eat. So I feel like she will be comfortable. I do free range them in my backyard, so I may let her out once a day so she does not feel trapped. I am going to cover the whole thing with a tarp so that it is darker and the others can't taunt her. Hopefully she will be very comfortable. I so appreciate her doing all the work for me!!

    I have one more question: Once the little darlings are here, will our sweet-hen-turned-velociraptor allow us to handle the chicks so they become people friendly??? Seems like that will be one thing that might be difficult.

    Thanks again. I appreciate the folks on this forum soooo much!!![​IMG] [​IMG]

    P.S. Will the nasty broody poop be solid enough for me to scoop out????? Or will it be all runny and gross? I may need to rethink the hay lined floor of the cage.
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2009
  9. gckiddhouse

    gckiddhouse Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 9, 2008
    Desert Hills, AZ
    Okay, one more question. I know, I am a worrier!![​IMG]

    Our hens lay eggs with really hard shells. You gotta slam them on the bowl to crack them and pull hard to get them apart - a good thing right??

    Will this pose a problem for the little chickies inside trying to get out??? What if they can't crack the egg? Does the shell deteriorate over the 21 days so that they can get out?

    OOOh!!! I am sooo excited... [​IMG]
  10. gckiddhouse

    gckiddhouse Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 9, 2008
    Desert Hills, AZ

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