Separating Broody Hen from Flock

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by RainForestBird, Jan 16, 2018.

  1. RainForestBird

    RainForestBird Songster

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    I have a little Serama hen that has been broody for a couple of weeks now, I tried to move her and the first clutch of eggs to a bin lined with straw, but she jumped out and abandoned the eggs. So I moved her back to the coop with the flock and this cured her for about 3 days, then she started hoarding eggs again and disrupting my daily collection. So I've moved her again, this time to a cat carrier, which she seems to like. Its lined with the familiar pine shavings she was used to in the coop. I have a chick waterer and feeder inside the carrier with her, and since she's holed up in the corner with her 8 eggs she doesn't seem to be crowded. But she is pooping up the shavings and I'm worried that if I move her and the eggs again to clean out the carrier she'll abandon the eggs again and I'll have to put them in the incubator, which is already going on her first clutch she abandoned. Would it be too disruptive if I used one of those litter box scoopers/sifters and just scooped out her droppings? Would that be enough to keep things sanitary for the developing chicks? She's been in there for about 5 days, the carrier is in a room I heat at night for chicks of various ages, very cozy during this cold weather. This is a picture of her with the first clutch, she is so cute in her determination. IMG_7172.JPG
     
  2. sylviethecochin

    sylviethecochin Crowing

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    Move her off to eat and bathe. Hopefully, she'll poop while she's at it. In the meantime, move the eggs, dump and replace the bedding, reform the nest, replace the eggs. Let her get back on the nest. If she's recognised that as "her" spot, she should return easily and voluntarily.

    You are kicking her off the nest every so often to eat, drink, and poo, right? She should keep herself and her site clean, given space and opportunity. Now that she's bonded to the nest site, she should return to it when she's done. I like to provide feed and water near the nesting spot, but the hen needs to get up and take care of some necessities every so often, or you end up with spoiled eggs. If she isn't doing it herself, kick her off for a bit and see how she responds. A good broody will wander off to eat and then return. {edt: return within the hour. Eggs can be left to cool for a bit before they're really affected.}
     
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  3. RainForestBird

    RainForestBird Songster

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    She gets up herself to eat and drink, and poop. but the poop is fowling the shavings not in the nest but in the carrier. I say cat carrier, but it really is a small dog carrier for a 30 lb dog. Her eggs, from what I can see look pretty clean.
     
  4. sylviethecochin

    sylviethecochin Crowing

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    Can you open the carrier so she can get out and walk around? Or will that result in an invasion of the nosy hens from the planet 'laying eggs in your nest?'

    Have you considered putting her nest in a tupperware bowl so that you can just pick it up, remove it, switch out the dirty shavings from the carrier, and replace the nest? If she has to be in a closed carrier, or is refusing to leave the carrier, that is what I would do.
     
  5. RainForestBird

    RainForestBird Songster

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    Well, I don't want to open up the carrier, because the room where I keep it is unfamiliar to the hen and she jumped out of the bin last time and abandoned the eggs. So today I used a (new) kitty litter scooper and it worked fine and cost me about 98 cents at Walmart. She's sitting on the eggs and eating and drinking, as far as I can tell. I won't start to worry unless I see her leaving food uneaten. Now when the chicks hatch, that's another dilemma. She's a first time mom. So everything is new. I have no idea if she'll be a good broody or not. I'm thinking about putting her in a separate pen with her open carrier so she can move around with the chicks and the free ranging chickens will be used to seeing them around.
     
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  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    I would put her carrier in with the other birds now.
    If carrier is big enough for her to get up, eat, drink, stretch her legs, and poop she can spend the whole incubation time in there.
    Keeping the carrier in with the other birds will ease re-integration as she's till 'with' the flock, just open the carrier a couple days after all have hatched.
     
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  7. RainForestBird

    RainForestBird Songster

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    That sounds like a good idea, but her carrier is too large to put in the coop with the other chickens. I only have 3 other Serama hens and a rooster in there now, its a small Serama-size coop. I'm thinking of reorganizing my flocks anyway because all the hens are going broody, even without eggs under them. Does anyone else have that problem? I collect several times a day and get hen pecked every time I reach under whoever's sitting on the nest all day. I took the little white one away to sit on her eggs. then a mottled hen took her place in the corner where everyone lays their eggs. Last night I took one of the hens in because she had taken up her brooding underneath the coop in the run. It was freezing out so I put her in a bin with two eggs I was going to put in the incubator anyway, she sat on them all night, then in the morning abandoned them when I went in to take care of my Wyandotte chicks. So I put her back, only to upset her black and white splash sister who was sitting on the nest. I really think its time for a change, hopefully they will like the new rooster and the old rooster won't feel so put out if I put him with some new young girls. Must be Spring in the air because I have a broody in every coop. I'm wondering if its just their hormones or they're just tired of their rooster. I see them flirting through the wire with the free ranging roosters that come around the coop looking for spilled feed.

     

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