Moving a broody hen's nest?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by ShadowsRider, May 23, 2010.

  1. ShadowsRider

    ShadowsRider Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 28, 2009
    Virginia
    We've only ever had White Rocks, which in the past have never went broody, though we've got one now that IS broody so we don't have a lot of experience with broody hens. While the White Rock hen started her nest in the barn in one of the nest boxes, and she's fine, we've got an Auracana that went broody and started a nest out over the hill in the woods. We actually thought a predator had got her as she just up and disappeared last week. But today, she showed up in the yard with the other hens (ours are free ranging as a insect deterrent around our horses and barn) so we followed her and found where she is nesting. It's not a particularly safe place, being down over the hill from the barn and in the woods (the rest of the hens go into a coop at night, with the one White Rock in the upper nest box in the barn) and we want to move her and her eggs into the hay loft. We made a closed in space in a corner and put her eggs in there, but she wouldn't stay there and left.

    We are hoping that when she sees her old nest is empty, she'll be more willing to set on the new nest. We are also hoping that if we put her in there after dark on the nest in the hay loft, she'll stay and then just stay in the morning.......but we really have no idea if any of this will work.

    Any ideas or suggestions for getting her to accept a new nesting place?

    If she doesn't continue to sit, that's fine. I'd rather have her here and safe than have her get eaten sitting out in the woods on a nest. But, if we can, we'd like to hatch out a few more chicks, since I'm not sure (from what I've read) that the White Rock will stay the course.....though some of you have said in my other thread about the White Rock that they've had success with them as mothers, so we're hopeful. [​IMG]

    Thanks for any help or suggestions!
     
  2. Jster

    Jster Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 11, 2007
    Did you move her nest during the day or at night? I've heard at night is best...they are disoriented by the dark and just wake up happy with where they are. Is she going back to where her eggs where?

    Good luck! We've had non traditional broodies...two red sex links and a welsummer, and they've all been dedicated to it.
     
  3. MomtoSyd&Emma

    MomtoSyd&Emma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 13, 2009
    Southern VA
    I moved our broody and her nest during the day without any troubles, BUT this hen was DETERMINED to sit on her eggs, she is one of the broodys that doesnt even want to leave to eat or drink.

    Hopefully your broody will understand where her safe nest is and go back to that, you can try using a large dog crate, put her nest in it, with a door up so she cant get out, then she would probably get the idea quicker!
     
  4. ShadowsRider

    ShadowsRider Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 28, 2009
    Virginia
    Thanks for the replies!

    Unfortunately, we had to move her during the day, because storms were rolling in and we weren't going to go tramping about in the woods after dark in a thunderstorm. [​IMG]

    But while we put her back in the new nest a couple of times, she kept leaving it and we did not think to make a "cage" of some sort to make her stay there for a while........so she abandoned the nest. This was her very first time going broody and she is just a year old, so hopefully she'll brood again and we will certainly use the suggestions here next time if we need to move her!

    [​IMG]
     
  5. kano

    kano Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 24, 2008
    Santiago de Chile
    I always change my broody hens. In a small separate pen,with food & water, I arrange a nest ,move the bird during the nigth, and place a box on top of her, so she can't move or see, and keep the box there for the nigth and all the next day. That afternoon, late, I remove the box, and that's all. Almost 99% of success.
     
  6. ShadowsRider

    ShadowsRider Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 28, 2009
    Virginia
    Thank you! I will definitely try this the next time! [​IMG]
     

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