Moving a Broody day 20


In the Brooder
8 Years
Apr 19, 2011
We are on day 20 and one egg is close to hatching! We decided to move the boody hen and her six eggs because her nest is about 3 foot off the ground and we figured this would also protect mamma and chicks when they are hatched from the rest of the flock. We created a small nursery in the garage with chicken wire, wood shavings, and food/water. We then gently moved the hen and her eggs. The hen is highly agitated and not sitting on the nest. We added a plywood sheet to cover to make the area seem more secure to her and to keep her in the nursery. She has been in there 30 minutes and is not sitting on the nest...should we be worried....she just sat on the nest. Any imput from experienced chicken owners?
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I would allow her to go back to her nest site. Right now you risk losing the entire clutch. Hens are best moved in the dark rather than during the daytime. If she is willing to set on her eggs in the old nest site, screen her in if you are worried about the chicks falling out of the nest.
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Some broody hens are more adaptable and take to being moved better than others. Sourland is correct, the best time to move any broody is well after dark, trying to make the move as smooth & seamless as possible, and keeping the new site covered/shaded/dim.

It's hard to say just what to do now, the hen just may decide to set in the new place, or may stay upset until she goes back to her previous nest. If you do move her again, do it well after dark!

I've had eggs hatch after the Mama left the eggs to go cold during the final days of her set, the hen left the nest but I made her go back and the chicks still hatched. Your hen's clutch may still be successful.

Once the eggs begin to hatch the hen will stay put on the nest for about 24 hours, not getting up at all to eat/drink/poop. The chicks will hatch throughout that time, and the early arrivers will wait in comfort snuggled up under Mama's wings, no one will try to go anywhere. Maybe you can take Sourland's suggestion to barricade them all in that nest until you see Mama ready to take them for their first outing, and then you can move them all to their own private quarters.

And then the hen will be willing to be wherever her chicks are, and not so insistent on having the nest of her choice.

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