Moved broody hen's nest and she's mad! Help!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by mcclucker, Apr 15, 2017.

  1. mcclucker

    mcclucker Chillin' With My Peeps

    157
    11
    66
    Jul 2, 2016
    VT
    My Coop
    I have a GLW that is fully broody this week.
    I already have a chick order coming in 10 days and I was planning to brood them separate from my flock, but since this hen went broody I thought I could maybe give her a few of the chicks to raise.

    Their current nesting box setup isn't great for chicks so I built her a separate pen in the chicken shed for her. New nesting box with the same fabric nesting pad and same eggs she was sitting on.

    I put her in and made it dark in there and she is freaking out. Will she settle? She's been broody about 4-5 days but rarely leaves to eat or drink. She is desperately trying to get back to the first nesting box (she can't see it from where she is - this is her new setup. [​IMG]
     
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Sits With Chickens Premium Member

    15,984
    3,581
    436
    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    Most broody hens are hard to move. Yours hasn't been broody very long either. I personally haven't had any luck changing a broodies mind about where to set.
     
  3. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    17,497
    2,161
    456
    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    The hen imprints on the nest site location prior to laying first egg in it. Imprint sticks at least until eggs hatch. Moving nest more than a very short distance, even with hen in it can make so hen does not recognize her own nest. I can move a nest a few inches and she will find it although the hen is likely to be slow to get back on after taking a break. Nest on a long bench I have been moving several feet but it must be done incrementally over several days. If nest is an obvious box in an otherwise barren situation well away from other structure then nest can be moved more freely. Some of my hens also have trouble when nest box is swapped out for one that is markedly different in appearance. If I can move hen's entire world (pen and most of what she can see), then I can move nest much larger distance. Orientation as in N, S, E and W may be problematic as well.


    Recently, I moved a nest one level on a storage shelf to space two broodies to reduce conflict. I had to baby hen so she would recognize her nest that was moved up about 16". After she got into it once be herself all was good.

    By about day 18 or 19 of incubation when unhatched chicks and hen begin communicating, then moving things about gets much easier as imprinting on sounds overrides imprinting on nest site.
     
  4. mcclucker

    mcclucker Chillin' With My Peeps

    157
    11
    66
    Jul 2, 2016
    VT
    My Coop
    Interesting. This is an entirely different space- brand new pen I made in another part of the chicken shed. I will orient the nest box the same way as her previous one.

    If she doesn't accept it, hopefully this will at least break the broodiness. Lesson learned!
     
  5. shortgrass

    shortgrass Overrun With Chickens

    3,205
    566
    261
    Mar 14, 2015
    Northern Colorado
    I have one broody that I can move repeatedly and shes just fine with it, as long as she has her eggs. I just moved her yesterday to a completely different coop since everyone kept kicking her out of her nest to lay :p


    She's a Cochin, though. She got a little perturbed the first evening, because there are a few ducklings and a broiler in the coop with her now, but I moved her at dusk, so she didn't really have a choice but to stay put since it was getting dark. No problems yet, I just let everybody out in the morning and give her food and water and close the door so she's not disturbed by the ducks. Happy as a clam in there with peace and quiet :)


    But like I say, she's extremely malleable and docile for a broody ;)
     
  6. SueT

    SueT Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,598
    744
    226
    May 27, 2015
    SW MO
    Your broody may also refuse to accept the new chicks you want to introduce to her. It works for some, not for all. I tried it, and the chicks were only hours old, and my broody tried to kill them. It was after dark, as recommended...but likely she hadn't been broody long enough, or maybe she wouldn't have ever accepted them anyway. There are forums full of advice on this....just search for" introducing chicks to broody hen." Good luck!
    Sue
     
  7. theoldchick

    theoldchick The Chicken Whisperer

    28,671
    5,251
    576
    May 11, 2010
    Ha! Those broodies! Can live with them can't live without them. I've had some that were easy to break and some that were impossible so I simply removed the eggs every day as the site she chose to set was the best laying box in the whole wide world (according to the other hens). Now I have one broody who will pull any other hen out of a nest box and try to steal the eggs by rolling them back to her chosen spot. She's quite the character and intent on her purpose.
     
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    32,852
    5,608
    556
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Give her at least a day.....walk away, so as not to have to listen to the outrage.
     
  9. mcclucker

    mcclucker Chillin' With My Peeps

    157
    11
    66
    Jul 2, 2016
    VT
    My Coop
    Update - she seems to have accepted the nest now that I moved it! The chicks are coming around the 25th. I'll let you know how it goes! I'm planning to give her three.
     
  10. mcclucker

    mcclucker Chillin' With My Peeps

    157
    11
    66
    Jul 2, 2016
    VT
    My Coop
    [​IMG]
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by