Moving a Broody Muscovy Hen. Can it be done?


Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
11 Years
Feb 20, 2008
Opelousas, Louisiana
Has anyone had any success moving a broody hen, so not to disturb and irritate her to a point where she doesn't want to brood anymore? I have about 30 Muscovy hens and 10 of them are broody. Because I have so many muscovy ducks, they free range and roam on about 1 acre with the other animals. They sleep on the ground at night. Only a few of them will go into the chicken stalls or fly into the open air coops to roost at night but for the most part, they LOVE sleeping on the ground. We don't have predators, so I really don't have to worry about anything killing them, which is why I don't have a duck house for them. I couldn't imagine how big of a duck house/area that I would have to build for 30 hens and 5 drakes. Anyway, out of my 10 broody hens, 7 of them have decided to make a nest in areas that I am not comfortable with. One of the ducks found an area in the sheep pen on the side of a hay stack that the sheep like to sleep and play on. She is so hidden away that I didn't even notice the nest until I accidentally walked upon it. I am afraid that the sheep will accidentally step on her. I know that they won't bother her intentionally because the sheep are VERY tame but the sheep do play a lot and the new born lambs like to cut flips and jump up and down and off of the hay stack. Another hen has made a nest in the sheep shed. This nest was covered and hidden. I just so happen to notice a pile of hay that was not smoothed out. I uncovered it and there was a nest of eggs.

These are some examples of how sneaky these girls are and where they have layed eggs and made a nest. So getting back to my question. Has anyone successfully moved a broody hen from an unsafe location to a safe location? If so, can you tell me how you moved her. I want to move these girls and their eggs to my individual breeding pens where they would have their own closed in area to set until the babies hatch. Since I don't have predators and nothing will really bother them, do you think that I should leave them alone and let them set on their eggs where they are.

What do you all suggest that I do? Thanks for any input.
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I have done it with a different breed - but never a muscovy - sometimes successful- sometimes not. I found different birds just handle anything, while others only need the slightest excuse to be " let of the hook for sitting that long ". Im sure I have seen mention of people moving them on this forum... But you may also find that it depend on the temperament of the individual bird- and just how "Broody " they really are.

Luckily for me- the last one I moved was sitting in a nesting box- and at night - I blocked off the front- and moved the whole box with her and the eggs in it. A little harder when they have made a nest that is difficult to move. But definitely when it is dark is the best time to do it.
I have had zero luck in all my attempt to relocate a broody scovie. The last time I decided to let one of my girls be where she made her nest, which was too confinded of an area, she ended up smashing 5 of the 11!
I have resigned to let mother nature take its course.
You know what? That's about where I am with this moving these girls. I have resigned to letting nature take it's course as well. I'm with you on that.
I've managed this without problems. I use a large dog house for my broody Muscovies. I grab the duck and keep her under one arm, holding her feet and pinning her against my chest and arm (so she doesn't flap about). I then move the eggs (as many as I can carry in one hand) over to the dog house so she can see. I repeat this until I have all the eggs in the house.

I then pop the duck inside and lock her up for two days. She has food and water, and plenty of straw in there too.

After two days I open the door and she's allowed to use the run attached to the dog house I also move the food and water to the run at this time too.

The last time I did this last year, was with a duck who had decided to make a nest on top of a stack of straw bales. She was doing fine until a fox got into the shed one night (this was an outbuilding and not a chicken or duck house) it bit her twice and then tried to eat the eggs. I heard the noises and shot the fox. I then moved the wounded duck and her 18 eggs to the dog house. Not knowing if she'll sit on the eggs after being attacked. She did however and 10 days later the eggs hatched.

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