To Move a Broody Hen??? First time Experience Need Advice!

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Jonny Anvil, Jun 24, 2011.

  1. Jonny Anvil

    Jonny Anvil Songster

    Hey everyone,

    I have a serious question and some helpful advice would be much appreciated...

    For the past two weeks now, "Big Mama" my Black Orp hen has been sitting on 12 eggs, Two weeks ago I went to collect eggs and she had taken over the bottom nest box and was sitting on 6 eggs. Two days later there was 13 eggs and she was all tucked in. By the looks of things she pushed one egg out of the nest box only a a few days ago as I counted 12 eggs today, and recall picking up one below her nest box.

    So she has been guarding her brood for the past two weeks I am guessing, as the Top nest box is where I have been collecting the rest of the Girl's eggs.

    Here is my question.....

    What should I do, she is nesting on a nest box that is 20 inches up off the floor of the coop, and that is also part of the issue, she has gone broody in the 4x8 coop with 6 other hens and Darth Vader.
    I read a few articles and some posts regarding moving her to her own location.

    Now I am worried at this far in the brood would I be doing more harm than good to her? If I move her to her own set up will this cause stress on her and she will not finish setting or is she far enough along that the transition will be smooth?

    Any advice will be helpful...

    Here is what I am dealing with....


    Last edited: Jun 24, 2011

  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    That look she is giving you is called the "stink eye". I think you can see why.

    I've seen broodies get chicks out of a 10 feet high hay loft. She says jump and they do. None were injured. I would not worry about 20". The one thing I'll mention about that. Most of my broodies take their chicks to a corner of the coop floor to sleep at night, but I had one that wanted to get back up in a nest, about 14" off the floor. A couple did not make it into the nest the first night. (She was an exceptionally dumb broody yet she raised her chicks. I got some good stories from her) The first night or two, you might want to check to see where she is taking them to sleep and make sure all the chicks can make it.

    Any time you move them, you take a chance that she will break from being broody. Many people do successfully move them, but there is always a risk. If you do decide to move her, move her at night with as little light and commotion as possible. Move her to a location where you can lock her in the nesting area and do not give her the option to go back to her old nest. Try to make the nest as dark as you can. That seems to soothe them. As I said, people do successfully move them, but there is always a risk.

    I'll admit I am a bit confused as to your exact history. It sounds like she switched nests and the 12 eggs she has now are not the 12 she started with. If you leave her where she is (which is what I would do at this stage) I suggest you mark the eggs you want her to hatch and check under her daily and remove any fresh eggs that show up.

    Good luck and welcome to the adventure. It is fun but it is an adventure with some of them.
  3. Jonny Anvil

    Jonny Anvil Songster

    Quote:Thank you greatly for the advice...

    I am going to leave her alone for the time being and wait until she hatches them out, and then keep a very close eye on her and her brood.

    Sorry for any confusion, She has always laid on the bottom nest box, as well as 5 other hens, after everyone laid one day she decided to sit on the eggs in the lower nest box. I never collected those eggs as she was not letting me near them. I collected the eggs in the top nest box that day. The following day i went out the the coop and there was an additional 7 eggs in the lower nest box and only one in the top. I gave them water Big Mama, got her share and went right back to the nest box... same thing she was not letting me get the eggs.
    I collected the one up top and that was it.
    The next day again, this time I opened the coop door and there she was on the nest, I topped up the food, she jumped down I counted 13 eggs and before the door closed she was back on and set again.

    Every night I have gone down to the coop to check and she is sitting on the nest, not roosting.

    The rest of the hens have been laying their eggs either in the top nest box, or on the floor. No new eggs have been adding to her brood, but she did push one out the other day... She was at 13 and as of today she is at 12 now. The one she pushed out I noticed the other day, it was not developed and was crushed more or less, most likely from the drop.
    I saw under her today and 12 eggs remain...

    here is hoping she hatches out at least a few chicks....

    Now should I be worried about my Black Orpington Rooster in there? He is a gentle giant, but I just don't know??

    I plan on moving them into their own setup once her hatch is more or less done.

  4. KKatknap

    KKatknap Songster

    Nov 15, 2009
    Albany, OR
    My broodies have hatched in the coop just fine - rooster and all. I did put a 1x4 board up to keep the babies from tumbling out the first day or so. Then, after all had hatched, I put them & mama in the "nursery", which is an enclosure within the coop. The mama made sure the rooster did not bother the babies. Mostly they will hide under her're pretty lucky to spot them at all the first day or two. Just an occasional peek out from under wing or tail. [​IMG]

    I agree totally with Ridgerunner - it is a great adventure. I love my broodies - even the dopey ones! [​IMG] Good luck with yours [​IMG]
  5. PunkinPeep

    PunkinPeep Songster

    Mar 31, 2009
    SouthEast Texas
    I plan on moving them into their own setup once her hatch is more or less done.

    That's what i do. Even if it's just moving them to the coop floor, it has always worked well for me to simply wait until the eggs have hatched and the chicks are dry - and then move them out of the high nest.​

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