Need advice on moving broody hen

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by HopperVal, Apr 17, 2012.

  1. HopperVal

    HopperVal Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 8, 2011
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    Our only cochin hen went broody and I'd like some advice from people that have been in similar situations.

    She's in a coop with 9 other hens and I have a few concerns about her laying on eggs in there with them. I don't want them jumping into the box with her and breaking her eggs. I'm also concerned because we're not exactly sure who the roo's genetic mother is (we know the cochin isn't) so we don't want his mother laying fertile eggs by him in the nest with the cochin and then hatching insest babies that may have issues. I can tell her eggs apart from most of my other hens most of the time but I don't want to make a mistake with that kind of thing.

    We do have a brooding coop that we could move her to but I've heard mixed things about moving broodies and I don't want her abandoning the eggs. Ive read that if I put the roo in with her it might help keep her broody, is that true?

    Thanks everyone very much for reading.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2012
  2. Jungleexplorer

    Jungleexplorer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, I don't know about Cochins, but I have never been able to successfully move a broody hen, and I have tried many times for the same reasons as you. It might work if you can move her nest and all at night in the dark, but if you try to move the eggs and her to a new nest, I just don't think it will. Best of luck.
     
  3. HopperVal

    HopperVal Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 8, 2011
    New Hampshire

    Oh jeez, that's no good. If I were to try and move her should I do it ASAP or is there a point in her laying in which it may be more successful? And If I do move her should I put the roo with her?

    I really would rather she be in the brooding coop... that is why we built it after all. But with the unusually warm spring the hens are raring to go broody and will not wait for us to move them lol!

    Another option actually would be to trash this clutch and put her and the roo in the brooding coop together and try for another. I feel bad though especially if the eggs are fertile.
     
  4. sherylreno

    sherylreno Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My hen went broody 2 1/2 weeks ago and I'm just like you, I can't have my hen hatch eggs in the coop with all the other hens. I don't have a rooster but I do have ducks and a drake. I moved my broody to her new crate with fresh straw during the daytime. I tried this last year when she went broody but I moved her at night and the next morning she was off of the eggs and stopped being broody. I gave her plastic eggs first to see how she would do.

    She fixed up the straw and started laying on her plastic eggs. The next day was when I gave her 2 duck eggs to hatch and then the next day I gave another 2 to hatch. She's still laying on the eggs. She takes her breaks once a day in the morning and back on them she goes.

    If you have an incubator then I would put the eggs in there the first day and then move her to the broody coop, give her plastic or any eggs and see if she will go back on them. If she gets back on the eggs you placed in there then I would go ahead and give her the eggs you put away.

    If you do not have an incubator then this would be up to you to see if she will continue to sit on the eggs. Go ahead and move her during the day and see what she does.
     
  5. sherylreno

    sherylreno Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I moved my broody on day 2 of her sitting on the eggs if that's any help?
     
  6. HopperVal

    HopperVal Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 8, 2011
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    Thanks very much for the replies!

    I do not have an incubator so if I do move her we only have one chance at it.

    Anybody have opinions on moving the rooster with her to keep her broody? Ive never experienced this before but I have read a few things that make me think it might work.

    Decisions, decisions... I want to move her sooner rather than later to avoid any egg mix ups but I really don't want her to abandon the nest.

    Again, thanks for the replies. Any other information is more than appreciated.
     
  7. Jungleexplorer

    Jungleexplorer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Abilene, Texas
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    Just mark the eggs she is on and then you won't have to worry about egg mix up.

    Moving her or leaving her, It is a gamble either way. Some people have hens that will take to a new nest. Some breeds are better then others. I have a laying coop that is designed where the eggs will roll out of the nest into a tray on the outside of the coop, but even so, some of my hens are so determined to nest that they will sit there and pull the eggs back when the roll out. These laying nest are really ugly with carpet bottoms and you would not think a hen would look twice at nesting in them but some my hens refused to nest anywhere else. I have locked broody hens up in my pullet pen (when not in use) for up to a week trying to break them from their broodiness and watch them go right back nesting as soon as I let them go. But when I have tried to move them to a nice nest with straw and eggs, they refuse to set on them. I guess they just want to set where they are use to laying. I have other hens that are gamefowl and they refuse to set in any kind of nest. They will only nest in the weeds and bushes. It really has to do with the breed, I guess.

    The bottom line is, if you leave her where she is, you run the risk of the eggs getting broke, and also that the adult bird might kill the chicks. But if you move her, she might break from her nest and the eggs will be ruined. In the end you are gambling either way. If she is going to break from the nest, it is better earlier then later. The longer she sets, the longer it will be before she will start laying again. Most hens will start laying again after a couple months if you break them from brooding early. But if they go a long time and even hatch chicks, it will be up to seven months before they will lay again. When I see a hen go broody, I lock her up immediately to break her, unless of course I want to hatch some chicks.
     
  8. HopperVal

    HopperVal Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 8, 2011
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    Well I went ahead and moved her. Probably not the best idea, she doesn't seem interested in the eggs anymore. That's ok though I'll see what tomorrow brings and if she still refuses we'll try again in a few months.

    Darn tempermental broodies!
     
  9. Moonkit

    Moonkit Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Are your hens used to being picked up and handled? If not, that could be why they abandon the nests when you move them. I have four broodies right now, all but 1 are first timers. I let them sit in their chosen spots for over a week to make sure they were serious about it. Every day I went out, picked them up and brought them out of the coop to forage a bit. They'd eat their treats, maybe have a quick dust bath, poop, and then head back in. After cold dunkings for the lot of them proved ineffective (they were all back on their nests as soon as they were dry), I bought eggs, moved them into dog kennels, and let them have at it. There was some bickering over the eggs since I put them 2 to a kennel since that was how they paired up in their nesting spots.

    Keep in mind though.. I was very hands on in raising my hens. A lot of picking up, petting, hand feeding treats, checking for mites, breaking up fights, etc.. My chickens seem to regard being picked up and carried around as a fact of life. Nothing to get bent out of shape over. Once they're released, they go right back to whatever they were doing.
     
  10. Beekissed

    Beekissed True BYC Addict

    I don't think you will need to worry about this type of thing with chickens unless you are doing some serious line breeding but son to mother won't be a problem.

    A bigger issue when a broody is in with the other hens is that they will lay in her nest when she gets up, then you have a hatch that is uneven...not good.

    I'd just move her and the eggs at night~don't even turn on the light, use a flashlight if you can~and put her somewhere private and quiet. I've often done this and even placed an up-ended cardboard box over the new nest with a doorway cut out so the hen is in dim conditions where she feels secure and hidden. Every time I've moved one during daylight hours she gets off the nest and frets from being isolated from the others but have never had this issue if I moved one at night.
     

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