My First Broody Hen.. YAY... now I need help...

janelle18

Songster
7 Years
Apr 3, 2012
316
38
103
Ontario, Canada
My Coop
My Coop
So i have a broody hen. She is currently in a 8ftx8ftx10ft pen with 5 other hens and a roo. The nest boxes in the pen are raised about 2.5ft off the ground. Therefore i need to move her lower. I have another nesting box that i can move her to on the ground in the same pen..

my questions are :
1. should i move the other birds out of the pen? or move the broody to a different pen( if i did this they would be separated and wouldn't be able to see each other)
2. when should I do this?
3. Should i block off the other nest boxes ( i read that they can get confused and go to the wrong nest box)

Thanks in advance!
 

Judy

Crowing
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Feb 5, 2009
34,024
603
448
South Georgia
My personal approach is to put her in another pen while she sets on the eggs, then put mom and chicks back with the flock when the chicks are a day or so old. They not only return to the wrong nest, they steal eggs from other nests. others lay eggs in their nest, etc. -- general havoc, and some eggs often get broken. She will be in something like a trance for the 21 days and doesn't need to be disturbed, at least as long as she gets up once every day to eat, drink and poop, and get a little exercise. The nest being that high in itself is not a problem, though. Many a chick has hatched in a hayloft and jumped to the barn floor on the first or second day. Of course, they won't be able to get back up at first, but she will just cover them somewhere else. A good mama protects her chicks from any curious hens, and when she is through being a mama, the chicks will already be an accepted part of the flock.

http://www.themodernhomestead.us/article/broody-hens-1.html
 

five is my dog

Songster
6 Years
Jul 4, 2013
605
18
101
i personally prefer having her in with the others. this will prevent having to reintroduce the broody hen and chicks it will also prevent bullying when reintroduced. but i would put her in an old dog house not in the coop.
 
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CAjerseychick

Songster
7 Years
Jun 25, 2012
775
21
113
Northern California!
x2. I had an old dog crate filled with straw set up next to the coop in the chicken yard and the hen and chicks used that for about a week and then moved back into the coop at night-- she did keep the chicks segregated in the bushes during the day while the other birds roam our 2 acres, but everyone now sleeps in the coop at night. No reintro difficulties-- I do like this way the best, if it works for you....
 

janelle18

Songster
7 Years
Apr 3, 2012
316
38
103
Ontario, Canada
My Coop
My Coop
Thanks for all your help..
I watched her a bit yesterday and when any of the other hens came near she got defensive and they chose the easier option of laying in the other nesting box. I think I am going to leave her were she is and move the other birds out of the pen and into a different one. I also need to get her off the nest so I can see exactly how many eggs she is sitting on!!

I guess I will worry about the re-introduction later..
What are roosters like with new chicks?
 

five is my dog

Songster
6 Years
Jul 4, 2013
605
18
101
most good roosters will protect the chicks. they act like its their job. but some will ignore them. if a roo ends up being mean to a chick a good broody will show him whats up.
smile.png
. i have also found that if you let them out to free range all together after the mama takes them out that will help the reintroducing. of course if you can free range.
 

RWise

Songster
7 Years
Dec 25, 2012
1,270
1,012
216
Oakhurst Oklahoma
I put my last batch (23 chicks) out at 3 days old, they had been out for a few hours a day, they had a protected area and at 5 days were roaming with the flock (well not to far and still plenty of hiding places) no broody just out there. My Rooster stands in them and calls to them feeds them as if he was the broody, though not dedicated like a broody (He still has his interests). At 7 days they were moved into the coop and are now on the roost with the other birds! (about 4 weeks old now and still have all 23)

Hens will climb into the nest no top of the broody to lay, eggs get broke, eggs get added, the broody will jump nests. I dont like to but if the others wont let her be, I move her. They can still see and talk to each other and as soon as I can I move her and her chicks back.

Maybe I am just lucky,,,
 

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