My first broody!


7 Years
Jan 29, 2013
Nebraska Panhandle
I'm so excited! I have a trio of Bourbon Reds, and one has started setting. She has been on her nest now for 4 full days. She took over the chicken nest box, so I had to make another place for the chickens to lay. I'm worried about her raising poults in the community coop once they (hopefully) hatch. I hate to risk abandonment if I move her now. Or should I? I do have a place for her to brood them after hatch.
Also: will the poults need a heat lamp, or just Mama?
When do I put food and water out? Will I feed mom and babies the same Turkey starter?
Depends on how much of a `community' will be in attendance after hatch. Although there is considerable `synchronization' of hatch - sometimes there will be laggards and the hen will sit tight on nest until she is satisfied with the results (though most of the poults will be out and about). If you can arrange the current area so that hen and poults can be separated out of the mix, that would be easier than moving her. When first poult hatches.have the food and water set up (so feeder/waterer can't be tipped) and within easy reaching distance of setting hen. She'll school the poults (hen can eat same feed). Unless the daytime temps drop precipitously the poults will stay warm enough under the hen. Example:


I'm a little worried that a poult will fall out of the nest while she is still waiting for the last eggs, Even if I fence of the area.

The community consists of 9 hens, 1 rooster, 1 Tom, and 1 Turkey hen. I have to get under her daily to gather chicken eggs and she seems quite committed to the nest. Should I leave her there? Or take the risk of moving her to a safer nest?
If you decide to move her, have the new `nest' already arranged with eggs in place. So long as she can't leave new nesting area after you move her, she'll probably get the idea and get back to brooding. Don't let her leave the new area until she is setting tight and hissing at you if you get too close (`my nest, back off!').

Have only had to move nests where the egg count was getting up there, but the hen hadn't committed, yet (Totally destroyed nests & covered with some still rolled chicken wire - no chance of reoccupation (and much `better' new nests arranged). Hens have yet to abandon moved eggs, here, yet.
I did move her last night. I set up a large dog kennel in the empty half of the brooder house. I moved her eggs in first, then carried her. She never even budged when I sat her on her eggs. Within a few minutes, she had all of the eggs tucked neatly under her. I think we are good!

Edit: By the way, this is the SWEETEST bird, at least to me. She was pecking at my husband when he was checking fir chicken eggs under her, but lets me do anything with her.
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I have another issue: When I moved my hen, I noticed she had more eggs than what she started with . (The other hen had been laying in the box and the broody kept taking new eggs) Once she is satisfied with her hatch and comes off the nest, can I put the remainder in an incubator? IF that is successful, I'm guessing I may get a poult a day for possibly another week.

The question is this : can I keep adding those poults to the bunch under the broody? Will she accept them if they didn't actually hatch under her?
I would mark the eggs and collect the unmarked ones. The other hen needs to be blocked from the nest till she makes her own then
place the eggs in the new nest.
My hens seem to try to steal poults away from each other until they all combine later in the summer. One day a hen will have a dozen poults, then only a couple. The next day she might have 20.
Its too late to mark eggs. She is already separated from the others, and since I moved her, no eggs have been added. At the time of the move, I noticed the extra eggs, but have NO IDEA which are originals, and which are add ons.
Its too late to mark eggs. She is already separated from the others, and since I moved her, no eggs have been added. At the time of the move, I noticed the extra eggs, but have NO IDEA which are originals, and which are add ons.
The joys of having birds. I have a guinea laying in my setting hens nests. Noticed a egg by a hens nest and pushed her off to find three more under her.
Seems to me you have the right solution with the incubator.
problem I encountered by trying to put poults that were hatched in a bator with a hen is the poults did not know they were baby turkeys and wouldn't stay with the hen.
It wouldn't hurt to try to give them to the hen,hopefully you will get better results than I did.

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