Moving a broody hen?

Avie02

Chirping
Feb 3, 2021
25
26
56
Hi all,

Ok, so for three days now, I have had a broody hen sitting on her eggs.

However, I have two issues:

1. she is nesting in one of our six nest boxes, and the other hens are jumping on top of her to lay, essentially laying their eggs on top of her (even though we have plenty of other available nest boxes - they seem to all like this particular one)

2. The nest boxes are about 70cm (28") above the ground in the coop, and I am worried that this will not be suitable when/if the chicks hatch as that's quite a drop if they fall out!

This is my first time experiencing a broody hen, so please forgive me if my concerns seem a little paranoid/silly.

So I guess my biggest question is, what should I be doing?

Should I try and move her to another location, and if so, how do I do this with the least amount of stress to the hen?
 
Sep 30, 2021
361
861
181
Utah
I don't see any reason why you shouldn't move her-get her a safe place away from everyone else where she has access to food and water. I have tried to break broody hens before and its difficult enough that I imagine one move isn't going to throw her off setting. Someone more experienced than me will have more advice I'm sure
 

Yardmom

Songster
May 3, 2018
1,053
1,481
206
Waterford, PA
When you move her she needs to be locked away from her old nest. Her instinct will be to go back to her spot. If she can not get to the old nest then her instinct most likely will be to sit on the eggs she can get to. To make the transition back to the flock after the chicks hatch it is best to put a cage or crate inside the coop if possible. Are the eggs she has under her what you want her to hatch? If not let her settle on those eggs before you give her the eggs you want to hatch. If they are the eggs you want hopefully she will settle quickly.
If you want to leave her in her current nest it is possible. You would need to mark her eggs (eggs must be started on the same day) and then remove all eggs added to the nest. The chicks would be fine a couple of féet of the ground. I have had chicks come down from the hay pile at 24 hours old.
 

Banana01

Songster
Feb 18, 2021
718
1,178
221
San Martin, Peru
I would move her eggs to one of the unused boxes, along with her. You may need to move her continuously for a day or two until she figures it out, she'll keep trying the old box. Eventually my hens stay, but it may take a lot of moving her to her own eggs.

It's possible though.
 

Avie02

Chirping
Feb 3, 2021
25
26
56
When you move her she needs to be locked away from her old nest. Her instinct will be to go back to her spot. If she can not get to the old nest then her instinct most likely will be to sit on the eggs she can get to. To make the transition back to the flock after the chicks hatch it is best to put a cage or crate inside the coop if possible. Are the eggs she has under her what you want her to hatch? If not let her settle on those eggs before you give her the eggs you want to hatch. If they are the eggs you want hopefully she will settle quickly.
If you want to leave her in her current nest it is possible. You would need to mark her eggs (eggs must be started on the same day) and then remove all eggs added to the nest. The chicks would be fine a couple of féet of the ground. I have had chicks come down from the hay pile at 24 hours old.
Thank you for your message! I have marked the eggs and now that you say that they should be fine a couple of feet from the ground I think I will try and leave her where she is in the nest box and collect any new, unmarked eggs each day.

One question with that though is, say, when the chicks are born and one gets out of the nest, do they have trouble getting back up to mum? What is your experience?
 

Silkie Princess

~Expanding my chicken collection~
Premium Feather Member
Jun 24, 2021
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Slovakia
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Moving broody hens

Moving broody hens

Moving broody hens You have a broody hen, you want to hatch chicks but you can't leave your hen in her current nesting spot. What do you do?!?! This article covers everything you need to know about moving broody hens. Why move a broody hen? There can be a few reasons why you have to move...
 

Yardmom

Songster
May 3, 2018
1,053
1,481
206
Waterford, PA
When the chicks come out it should be because mom called them out. They will not return to the nest if it is to high, but will find a spot on the ground.
 

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