Should i move my broody hen before i give her fertile eggs?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Mysto, Oct 10, 2009.

  1. Mysto

    Mysto Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 20, 2009
    Pacific Northwest
    I have a broody 1 year old easter egger who has chosen a nesting box in the coop which is about 3' high off the ground. She has been brooding for about 3 weeks now. I plan to pick up some fertile eggs tomorrow to give her to hatch out, but being a first-timer at this, I'm wondering:
    1) should I attempt to move her so she's "ground level"?
    - thinking ahead to when the eggs hatch and don't want the chicks to fall.
    - also wondering if she will be upset if I pick her up and move her?
    2) She is with all my other (10 total) hens; should i separate her from the others?
    3) If (when?) she hatches out this clutch should I keep her separated from the others? if so, how long?
    4) I could bring her in the house to hatch out and raise the chicks - good idea/bad idea?

    Any advise on the subject would be greatly appreciated [​IMG]
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    Here are a couple of threads that you might find helpful. I think they answer most of your questions.

    Isolate a Broody? Thread

    Raise with flock? thread

    I personally would not be concerned with the height of the nest at three feet. When it is time to leave the nest, mama will get them to jump down. There is always a chance they could land wrong and hurt themselves, but I put that chance as very unlikely. I've had hens hatch in a ten foot high hay loft and get the chicks to jump to the ground when they leave the nest. If you do build something special to isolate the broody while she hatches, you can put it close to ground level.

    I would consider moving her into the house to hatch or raise the chicks as a bad idea, but my goals and reasons to have chickens are likely somewhat different than yours. The noise, dust, smell, and general mess would argue against it for me. Also, I consider it best to keep them with the flock at all times, even if they are separated by some wire. It helps with integration issues later on.

    The way I do it is to isolate the hen behind wire in the predator-proof coop while she is hatching, then let her raise the chicks in the coop and run with the other chickens.

    Good luck!
  3. cwhit590

    cwhit590 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 6, 2008
    SW Michigan
    My broody BO set twice this year...she always sets in the nestboxes. I just leave her in the nestbox, and when the chicks start hatching I put up a little patch of wire and seal them in the box with a little food/water to make sure no babies fall out into the coop. When all have hatched I take them out and give momma and babies a separate area to grow...I integrated mom and chicks recently when the babies were feathered out, and that went well.

    If she's holding her own and setting in the same nestbox all the time, I would just leave her...moving her could possibly break up her broodiness.

    Hopefully everything works out! [​IMG]
  4. Mysto

    Mysto Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 20, 2009
    Pacific Northwest
    thanks for the advise! Another question - after (approx.) the 21 days, and the clutch does not hatch out, will she give up and leave the nest?
  5. PortageGirl

    PortageGirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nope, she'll keep trying, they don't much get the calander thang. BUT, if any hatch out, after a few days, she'll opt for taking care of the live chicks and leave any old unhatched eggs alone to tend to her live brood.
  6. Sissy

    Sissy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 18, 2007
    Sevier county, Tn.
    Can a month old silky be put out in the coop
    with the rest of the hens and Papa roo.
    in this 65 degree weather.
  7. PortageGirl

    PortageGirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:Are the other birds silkies? are they agressive? It's probably really too young to mix in, but you can probably put it a seperate pen/crate inside the coop with seperate feed and water so they can start to get used to each other. Older chickens don't take age into account. If chicks don't have a mother to protect them, other birds have been known to kill them.

    If it's really consistantly 65 maybe, it depends on what the chick is used to. One chick won't be able to huddle with anyone else to keep warm if the temp drops though. The time to start to put them out is usually around 8 to 11 weeks old, depending on how feathered out they are.

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