Moving a nest with a broody hen?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by spiffwilkie, Feb 11, 2013.

  1. spiffwilkie

    spiffwilkie Songster

    Mar 22, 2011
    Memphis, TN
    I have a buff orpington that's been sitting for about 5 days now. I've decided to get some fertile eggs from the feed store so we can hatch some.
    Now, my issue is that we only have two nesting boxes at the moment, and she's monopolizing one of them. If I set up a new nest separate from the other hens, and sit her on it, will she follow? Or will she go back to the other one?
    Alternatively, if I move that box (it's actually a 5 gallon buck on it's side with the top mostly cut off) to a new spot, do you think that she would move nicely with it?
    Or, does anyone have good advice on moving a broody hen without breaking her (isn't this the opposite of what people on here usually try and do? [​IMG] )


  2. greenfamilyfarms

    greenfamilyfarms Big Pippin'

    Feb 27, 2008
    Elizabethtown, NC
    I would leave her be to prevent her leaving the nest, or getting confused and sitting in the old nest while the eggs are in the new nest getting cold.

    Label the eggs with something, such as a dot on the end, so they are not confused with another egg that may accidentally get laid in the broody box.

    How many other hens do you have?
  3. spiffwilkie

    spiffwilkie Songster

    Mar 22, 2011
    Memphis, TN
    3 other hens at the moment. They are mostly laying in the other box, but I have found that they'll get one in the broody box now and again.
    Also, what is the best way to check and see if new eggs have been laid in the broody box? Is checking under the broody hen going to agitate her to the point that she abandons the eggs? Is it best to do at night, perhaps?
  4. 1muttsfan

    1muttsfan Crowing

    Mar 26, 2011
    Upper Peninsula Michigan
    IF you are going to try moving her, give her some fake eggs to sit on for a few days then try moving her - that way if she gives up you haven't wasted the eggs. Better for her to have a separate area than in the nest boxes, as the other hens may break the eggs while jostling around for position trying to lay in that box. Another thing that people sometimes do is to fence her into the box with some hardware cloth, bringing her out once a day to eat, drink and poop.

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