New broody laying outside the coop and run

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by akchick76, Aug 3, 2014.

  1. akchick76

    akchick76 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 28, 2013
    Alaska
    I have a Ameraucana that has a clutch of blue eggs outside the run. My fence is not higher than 4' and Blue just jumps over it and free ranges herself. She never goes far, she stays in the yard, mostly in the tall grass that can't be reached through the fence. She always puts herself up at night, hops over during the day to get feed and water, and just hops back to get grass. She only lays eggs in the coop in the winter and on rainy days. Until recently. Last month I found her usual clutch of hidden eggs, about 20 eggs. I collected them, trying to deter her. Didn't work, I knew she was hiding more. Well yesterday, I found her new clutch, literally behind the coop. And this time she is sitting on it. This is the first time I have seen her even act remotely broody. Tonight she did not come in to roost. I'm tempted to see how far this goes. This is not my first broody, the other girls have been on and off all year, but I have had a rooster since February, and I'm willing to try this the old-fashioned way and just let nature run its course. I live in Alaska, so no concern about snakes. Maybe fox or dogs.

    Finally, my question. Should I try to move her and the clutch? I could put a circle of fence around her since its so close to the coop. I could try to put her in the coop with food and water, but she is such a "free spirit", I don't think she will stay.

    Any suggestions?
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    South Georgia
    My personal preference is to separate a broody while she is setting, then let her take her new chicks to the flock when she gets off the broody nest. {lenty of chicks have hatched in with the flock, but it does create hassles: other hens try to add to the broody nest or remove eggs, they scuffle and shuffle the eggs around, the broody can return to the wrong nest after her daily break (especially if someone else is on her nest,) etc. I have moved a broody while setting successfully, although of course you aren't supposed to. If you want to try it, try to take the whole nest with nesting material, and do it at dusk or after dark. Or you can put the fence up if you want to try that. If you move her to her own area with just her nest, food and water, and a little space to exercise, hopefully she will settle back down on the eggs.

    If you do decide to try it within the flock, do mark the original set of eggs for hatching with a Sharpie so you will know which ones to chase down or remove.
     
  3. mmmeyer

    mmmeyer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 25, 2014
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    If you can bulid over her try it or move her at dusk to a safe enclosed area for her and poss. chicks. I had a hen that started sitting a nest in feb/mar. I never though they would hatch out. April 1st I walk by where she is and I hear chicks peeping..PANIC. There are any thing from feral cats to foxes and neighbors dogs who would get the chicks much less her. I moved my little coop over to where she was and as night was falling I moved her and the 10 chicks and 3 unhatches eggs over to it. Good thing 2 days later we had 4 inches of snow. Ended up with 11 chicks which turned out to be 7roos and 4 hens. NIcest group of chickens I ever had. All from my little japanese buff and the Old english bantam roo.
     
  4. akchick76

    akchick76 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 28, 2013
    Alaska
    I may just try to build around her. She is nestled down next to a old firewood pile next to the coop, so one side of her is completely safe. I put a board over her this morning as a lean to because I woke up to a light rain. She didn't mind at all me poking around to cover her. She really s a good chicken and I would love to see what happens at the end of the month.

    Should I start counting down now and just guess when might have started sitting? First time doing this with the girls.
     
  5. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    You'll hear the peeping when they hatch, maybe even before they hatch. She will stay on the eggs for a day or so to let other eggs hatch, then she will want to abandon the nest to take the chicks to eat, etc. Since she's so cooperative, I would just peek every day, myself, probably starting a few days before what I've guessed is the 21st day, if I could wait that long!

    Good luck!.
     

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