When Can I Move My Broody Hen?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by drdoolittle, Jun 29, 2011.

  1. drdoolittle

    drdoolittle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 30, 2010
    NE Indiana
    I have several hens that have "gone broody", and want to use one to hatch about 10 eggs. I tried taking the eggs I wanted hatched, placing them in a house with it's own little run, and then placing the broodies (one at a time) on the eggs in the hopes that at least one would stay setting the eggs. Each one just got upset and off the eggs and went out in the run pacing back and forth until I let each one out. Should I wait until they've been sitting on the eggs for awhile before I move them? I really need to move them to that particular pen-----it's the only one I have for this. I even left one hen in the pen overnight, thinking she would settle down to brood, but she was out in the run pacing this morning.
     
  2. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    I have moved them after they have settled down to brooding a few days and I have moved them closer to time of hatch, but before day 16 (I read somewhere not to disturb them after day 16).

    I would offer golfballs first, until they settle down, then working at night replace the golfballs with eggs.
     
  3. drdoolittle

    drdoolittle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 30, 2010
    NE Indiana
    Thanks. I think I might try to move her tomorrow evening. I searched, and one method is to have 2 boxes, one that can fit in the other. In evening, place broody and eggs (with nesting material) in one box, and cover them with the other box. Put them in the broody pen, and leave the second box over the hen for 2 days/nights. Then when you do remove the second box, she'll think that's where she always was. Clever. I just hope she doesn't get overheated.

    I don't really NEED more chickens, I just really want the experience of watching a hen raise some chicks.
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2011
  4. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Quote:It is a wonderful experience to watch. [​IMG]

    My regular nestboxes are large covered kitty litter pans. My broody crates (inside the coop) are large dog kennels, german shepherd size. When I've moved broodies, working at night, I move the whole kitty litter pan to the dog crate. Then working quietly I remove the lid of the pan, leaving just the base with the nest in it.
    Before day 16 I just pick a night, have DH help me by holding the broody for me. I lay the eggs aside, then remove the bottom of the nestbox. Return the nest to the dog crate and the eggs to the nest. Around day 18 or so I lock the broody in to protect any early hatching chicks. Of course I make sure that the broody has food and water in the crate with her; as close as possible so she won't have to leave the nest to eat.

    This has worked well for me five times so far. Hope it helps. [​IMG]
     

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