When to move hen and her clutch? Before or after they hatch?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by lizgarf, Oct 11, 2013.

  1. lizgarf

    lizgarf Songster

    Jun 4, 2012
    Hi, I have 2 broodies sitting on 6 eggs that are at day 18 now. They are in the nest box and there are two other hens in the larger coop/run, who have been mostly staying out of the way, now, but I have lost 2 eggs that were crushed by another hen. So, while my hens get along very well, I'm worried the presence of chicks may freak them out and they'll hurt them. I have 3 choices: 1) leave everything the way it is; 2) Close off the current nest area with a little wire fence (not ideal in some ways (kind of awkward to set up food/water in that space and it's right next to the main watering spot), but do-able); or 3) move moms and eggs to a dog crate inside the large coop/run. I think I'll move them to number 3 eventually, but I'm wondering if I should do it before the hatch or after. The Storey's Guide says not to move them from Day 16 until after the hatch. I'm also concerned about the broodies breaking from the move or getting upset that they can't leave the closed-off nest, so I'm trying to wait until the last minute to change things.
    Any thoughts?
  2. Jessshan8

    Jessshan8 Songster

    Feb 13, 2012
    Kalispell, Mt
    I would leave them be. I have had experience with broodies hatching with the main group with no problems. The hens will sit on them for the first day or two and protect them fiercely from other hens. I have seen even the lowest hen on the pecking order be a fierce as a lion with the rest of the flock. For future reference it would be my recommendation,that if a hen gets broody and you let her hatch out eggs move her at about a week of setting on the nest. Waiting the week ensures the hen is serious about it. This is what I do and I find it a lot less stressful on myself and the broody hen.
    1 person likes this.
  3. Arielle

    Arielle Crowing

    Feb 19, 2011
    Massachusetts, USA
    MOve after hatch if need be.

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