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Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by badnek, Jan 14, 2013.
my hen just went broody about a week ago when the eggs hatch do i take her chicks down??and how??
It sounds like the nest box is up high? If possible, move her and the nest to another location. Preferably, just somewhere lower but still where ever she is safe from predators and other hens being nosy. Maybe just a rubbermaid tote on it's side on the floor with a great big hole in the lid? The lid will keep the nesting material inside and she will be comfortable in the small-ness of it. Make sure that she has access to food and water. If there's room inside the coop you could even close off a small area just for her and the chicks - just for the first week or two.
Send her to me
But, seriously. The above suggestions are good ones. Good luck with your broody hen!!!
Here is an article that has some info you may find interesting...
and a thread all about the broodies... great info and a lot of folks there pretty frequent for questions
If you move her, there is a chance she will move back, leaving the eggs behind her, and this time of year, it won't take long for you to have lost the clutch. Been there, done that.
I have had several successful broody hens raise chicks right with the flock, but you have to sufficient space. My nests are 3 feet off the ground, and those little balls of fluff, will get out of the nest, but are uninjured. Once the clutch has hatched, all of my mamma's have moved everyone to a new clean nest on the floor of the coop. I just make sure she has clean hay, and all the chicks will get down by themselves and be with her there..
I just leave everyone alone until right before the eggs hatch (although I have miss calculated this, as they seem to take a little less than the 21 days with a hen) I move the rest of the flock, just for a day, so that she can get all that are going to hatch, to hatch. The chance of losing one of the first ones to hatch is highest, while the hen is still on the nest getting the rest of the eggs to hatch, another layer hen will kill the baby chick. Sometimes I just place a nest box outside in the run for my layers and lock the flock out of the coop. Just until everything is hatched. We are really only talking a few hours up to 6 -8 hours.
Then that night I let everyone back in. I do have wicked broody hens, that are willing to take your arm off at the elbow. I really try not to bother them, and none of the other hens bother her either. If it is really hot, I will take some water down to her, but I don't get her off the nest, I don't candle the eggs, I don't move her, I just let her be a chicken and take care of this.
I have small nest boxes, so small that only one hen will fit in the nest. If you have big wide open nests, other hens will lay beside her, and she will keep adding those eggs to her nest, until she gets too many eggs. She rotates them around, and the ones on the edges get cold, and die, and then she moves others out there. If you are in this type of set up, you have to move her. A standard hen needs about 12 eggs, maybe a bit more if she is big. More than that, or eggs added at different times won't work.
Hope this helps, I love a broody hen, and I hate to raise chicks without one!