moving a broody hen

notducky

In the Brooder
5 Years
Jul 14, 2014
74
3
43
I've got a young buff orp (under a year) sitting on 5 eggs. She's been on them for about a week. I was worried about where she was nesting so I moved her this evening to a small private coop. So far she won't go back to sitting on the eggs. It's been about an hour. How long until I should worry that's she's abandoned them? Should I move her back to where she was? This is my first experience with a broody.
 

chickengeorgeto

Crowing
7 Years
Dec 25, 2012
8,047
4,195
431
Big Bend of the Tennessee River's Right Bank.
How long can she be off the eggs before they won't hatch anymore

This is the very reason I recommend that you have a stand alone nest box big enough to comfortably hold your hen and capable of being closed off to keep the hen from escaping when the whole shebang, nesting material, eggs, nest box, eggs, as well as the setting hen can be easily and safely picked up as a unit during the night and quickly and quietly moved to a new location of your choosing. I know that this is going to upset some of the newer chicken keepers but here goes.

Chickens are an extremely un-intelligent animal. Every day they awake in an entirely new world or reality. If you'll move her like I recommend then when the hen gets hungry at her new nest location she will orient to where her nest currently is and return there once she has satisfied her appetite, drank her fill, defecated, and dust bathed. In over 50 years I have never seen anything happen other than this. In other words hens are incapable of employing logic to solve problems like, "where in the heck has my baby eggs run off to now." They only know what they think that THEY know and not what you and I know. She MAY return to her old nest location if you are able to reconstruct it before she looses her memory of this location.
 

notducky

In the Brooder
5 Years
Jul 14, 2014
74
3
43
If she hasn't gone back to sitting on her eggs by morning then I should try putting her back where she was?
 

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