moving nest question


11 Years
Jul 16, 2008
South TX on the border
Ok, so one of my sussex hens has gone broody, she is sitting on about 12 eggs. This is really good news!!!
The bad news is the nest box is 2 feet off the ground, I already had to move all the other hens into a different pen, as they just keep laying eggs in the same box, so when is safe to move eggs and hen to a smaller pen with ground level box? and whats the best way to go about that? shes been setting for a little over a week.
If you can leave her where she is, that's the best solution. The nest box doesn't have to be at ground level. Everybody will survive the 2' fall to ground level just fine.
If you decide to move her, she will not want to stay in the new location, no matter how comitted she is, or how long she has been setting. Her instinct will be to return to her original nest location. I've had some sucess by moving them to a new nest location and actually imprisoning them on the nest for three days. Make sure that the new pen/nest area will not let them escape back to the old nest. I've had some set for three days on the new nest, get off to drink and feed, then go back to their old nest. If they can't get back to the old nest, they give up their frustrated escape attempts and set where you transplanted them to. This method has worked well for the last 6 broodies. Nobody ever seems to go broody in the nest location I want them to. Good luck to you.
ok, well that solves some of the problem, the broody gal gets to enjoy the entire pen and run by her self,
if I could get 2 or 3 more to go broody that would eliminate my lust for buying an incubator:D
I recently had an interesting experience ...... my husband's aunt and uncle had to make a week long trip out of town for a funeral. They had a barred rock hen who had been sitting and was due to hatch before they would return. They had someone else "hen-sitting" their flock but were concerned about this girl. So, they carefully put her eggs in a plastic container made into a nest, set her on the eggs, drove her to our place in their truck, and then we brought her in our barn, and put her in an unused horse stall. She settled right in. When I checked on her that evening, she had tipped over the nest box, by trying to walk in the wrong side, I think, and she was a few feet away from the nest box, but had the eggs under her! I didn't think they'd hatch with all the moving around and falling out of the nest, etc., but she stayed on that nest and over the next few days I got to experience having a broody hen and got pictures and video of the first egg hatching. Quite an in my case, she didn't mind at all being moved from her nest, she just instinctively went back on her eggs. She was a good chicken mama and didn't mind me being around at all. In fact, I hand fed her while she was on the nest. :)
I moved our broody out of her nest box (ours is about 3 feet off the ground) after about a week. I set up the place I wanted her, moved a few eggs and some of the nest box straw, then her and then after I had her settled I moved the rest of the eggs. She could not leave the box I moved her to, but she could have moved around in it. Instead after I moved her she would not leave the nest unless I picked her up and took her off. The move seemed to "glue" her to the nest.
If you want to move her do it at night and make sure where you want to put her is ready before you move her. Also if you move her and she keeps going back to the old nest, you can always put her back in it.
This is a pic of my set up in a watermellon crate that I got from the local grocery store.

Good luck with whatever you decide!

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