Relocating broody hen

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by presley, Dec 27, 2011.

  1. presley

    presley Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 21, 2011
    I have a broody hen ,& have ordered hatching eggs for her. Had a nice little brooding box set up for her, that would accomadate baby chicks, but can't get her to stay in it. Put her in it after dark, went to check later, she had joined the other chickens on their roosting bars. This morning she was back in her regular nesting box. Trouble is the nesting boxes are too high off ground. Should we just wait till chicks are hatched, then move them?
  2. wsmoak

    wsmoak Chillin' With My Peeps

    I let mine sit on eggs in a too-high nest box until the first chick hatched, then moved everybody to a safe place. She hatched out the rest and all was well.

  3. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

    Nov 18, 2007
    My Coop
    Quote:Good idea... [​IMG] [​IMG]
  4. Lollipop

    Lollipop Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:Put her in a small priate pen of her own. Privacy, security, others can`t add eggs to her clutch, and she can`t move to another nest. Like you did, night time is the best time to do it. Don`t put the new eggs under her until she settles in. As you surmise, elivated nests are unsuitable for broody hens and chicks. I have always kept my nests at floor level........Pop
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    I'm not one that worries about nesting boxes being too high for a hen to hatch eggs as long as you don't get ridiculous. I've seen hens get chicks down from a ten foot high hay loft. They can't get back up but when Mama says jump, they do. Them Mama collects them and teaches them to be chickens. I don't recommend you put the nest box up ten feet, but three or four feet does not worry me at all.

    I realize what I just said will probably freak you out, so what I suggest is that you try moving her again, but fix the new nest a little different. Have an area where she has a nest, food and water, and enough room to poop. You'll probably need to clean the poop out occasionally, so you will need access. Lock her in there. Do not give her the option to get out or other hens the option to lay eggs in her nest. This can be in the coop or somewhere else, but she is basically in solitary confinement until the eggs hatch. Put eggs in the nest, whether fake or eggs you don't mind throwing away. Don't risk putting valuable eggs in there until she proves she will accept the new nest, then swap them out.

    I'd go further. Make the nest pretty dark. This seems to calm them and make them more accepting of the new nest. I'd make the nest where you can lock her in the nest, not letting her out to eat or drink. Move her at night with as little light and commotion as you can. Lock her in the nest itself in total darkness and leave her the next day. You can let her out toward the end of the next day so she can maybe eat, drink, or poop if whe wants to, but it really would not hurt to leave her in the next night. This is not as cruel and mean as you might think. Broodies spend long amounts of time on nests. It really will not hurt her. But open the nest up the following morning and see if she will accept the new nest. I don't guarantee that this will work, but it has a real good chance of working.

    You can mark the eggs, put them in her current nest, and check under her once a day to remove any new eggs. You can do as Wsmoak said or let her get them down herself. We all do things differently. I find the less I interfere with a broody while the hatch is going on, the better she does, but many people move them and handle them with little or no problems. One word of warning. Chicks will crawl up under her wings. If you pick the broody up, be very careful. I killed a chick once by picking a broody up by the body and crushed the chick that was under her wing.
  6. Gypsy07

    Gypsy07 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 4, 2010
    Glasgow, Scotland
    If she's only sitting in a nestbox through the day and still roosting up on the perch at night, personally I wouldn't consider her 'properly' broody. More like just messing around and toying with the idea a bit. You could try to encourage her to get more serious about it in the ways suggested here, but don't count on any of them working...
  7. Lollipop

    Lollipop Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:Good point, Gypsy.......Pop
  8. krcote

    krcote Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 21, 2008
    Concord, NH
    Quote:Good point, Gypsy.......Pop

    Correct. A true broody will only sneak off her nest for a few short minutes a day for food, water and a GIANT poo [​IMG]
  9. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

    Nov 18, 2007
    My Coop
    Quote:Good point, Gypsy.......Pop

    Correct. A true broody will only sneak off her nest for a few short minutes a day for food, water and a GIANT poo [​IMG]

    Good point, I agree... [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
  10. rancher hicks

    rancher hicks Chicken Obsessed

    Feb 28, 2009
    Syracuse, NY
    Quote:I keep one wooden egg in each my nest boxes. Yesterday Frenchy was spread out over four. She's a bantam so it easy to see her spread. Now your girl may not be a good broody hen. Some are, some aren't. I suggest putting her in a private place away from the distractions and see how she does with wooden eggs first. I watch mine and then switch to eggs of my choosing. Making the switch in the dark with a tiny flashlight.

    Take care,


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