My hen went broody today.

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by RMBGKY, Apr 13, 2012.

  1. RMBGKY

    RMBGKY Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 29, 2010
    Bowling Green, KY
    I know the answers are somewhere on this site, but I couldn't find them.

    1) I am think about just letting nature take its course and do nothing.
    2) Her next box is elevated so if I leave her there will the chicks be able to get out and in the nesting boxes. There is a gang-plank from the floor of the coop to the nesting box level.
    3) Should I at least mover her and the eggs to the floor of the coop?
    4) Should move her and the eggs to the floor of the coop, put some wire around to isolate her and put food and water in the pen with her?
    5) Should I move her out of the coop altogether.

    TIA
     
  2. spartacus_63

    spartacus_63 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 21, 2009
    Central Iowa
    If you have other hens that are laying in the coop, you should definitely move her to a separate place. If she stays with the other laying hens, there is a good chance that they will make later deposits in the nest. This becomes an issue on hatch day. The nest box would be fine in an elevated place until the chicks hatch. Once they are out of the egg, it will not take them long to start exploring. They would not have a problem getting out, but getting back in would be an issue. Also if some of the chicks get out and some stay in, the hen will abandon one group or the other, most likely the group out of the nest. The chicks would not survive with out their mothers warmth unless you are in a warm climate.

    A broody hen doesn't need much food or water, but I always keep a fount where she can get to it and I put some grain where she can eat it without getting off the nest.

    There is nothing better than watching a momma hen with day old babies.
     
  3. The Chickeneer

    The Chickeneer ~A Morning's Crow~

    Option four sounds like the best one, but don't move her till they're hatched. They will not always want to move. Sometimes when I move a hen and her eggs, she gets up from the nest and tries to escape the pen to go back to the old nest where she believes her eggs still are. Since she is to busy trying to get out, she is not sitting on the eggs and they get cold and die.

    Your best option is to mark all the eggs with a pencil or a little strip of tape, so you know which eggs were originaly hers. You could take out the ones that are not marked(which are layed by other hens) and take those into the house to eat. Dont move the hen till the eggs are all hatched. Good luck [​IMG]
     
  4. spartacus_63

    spartacus_63 Chillin' With My Peeps

    735
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    Aug 21, 2009
    Central Iowa
    I guess it depends on your hen. I use broody hens to hatch my eggs all the time and have never had a truly broody hen care that I moved her, nor have I ever had one try to go back to a previous nest. I have had broodies that I left in the coop to set who got up to eat or drink and while they were gone, another hen would occupy her nest. She would then go to an empty nest or one with a few eggs in it.

    It has been my experience that as long as a broody has something to set on, she will be happy. I have encourage broody vulnerable hens to go broody with wooden eggs and then swapped them with hatching eggs after she was committed.
     
  5. RMBGKY

    RMBGKY Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 29, 2010
    Bowling Green, KY
    Thanks
    I moved her tonight. It was much easier than I expected.
     

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