HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Topics » People » Rural/Farm Life (Group) » Question on a broody hen ...
Introducing Discussionist: A new forum by the creators of DU

Tue May 21, 2013, 02:36 PM

Question on a broody hen -

I placed my broody hen on a nest in the isolation cage about 24 days ago. This is a small cage I keep for hens that need a rest. She hatched 4 healthy chicks who are mostly hiding under her wings. they have food and water. So far, she seems more interested in continuing to sit the remaining 3 eggs than anything else.

Should I move her and the chicks? Steal the eggs? Leave them alone?

6 replies, 965 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread

Response to hedgehog (Original post)

Tue May 21, 2013, 03:09 PM

1. I haven't raised chickens in a long time, so my advice may not be the best, but here goes.

After 24 days, those eggs are not going to hatch. I don't think it makes much difference whether you remove the eggs or not. She will eventually leave the nest when she feels the chicks are ready. If they have food and water available, they won't go hungry.

ETA: You mentioned you have her in a small cage. Is there enough room for her to get up and move around with the chicks?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Arkansas Granny (Reply #1)

Tue May 21, 2013, 03:45 PM

2. She has enough room to sit down and turn around, but not

to move much more than 6" in every direction.

I think I'll steal the eggs tonight after dark, then see how she behaves in the morning.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to hedgehog (Original post)

Wed May 22, 2013, 11:11 AM

3. I've done it both ways.

I've left the eggs to see if they would hatch and the chickens eventually (after about 3 days) left the nest.

Then I've removed the remaining eggs and the chickens were just fine with that too.

I would give the chicken more room to move around. She wants to show those chicks how to scratch and to follow her (I've had baby chicks ride on their Mom's back to keep up with her.) So she needs room to move to do that. I've also had hens accidental kill their chicks because they had no room to move around and they stepped on them.

There is no sight as pretty as a hen with her chicks following behind.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to hedgehog (Original post)

Wed May 22, 2013, 12:46 PM

4. Well, one of the chicks didn't make it overnight - :(

I don't know if the mother crushed it or it just wasn't healthy enough to live.

So I made a nesting spot - straw, nearby feed and water - gabbed the three chicks and popped them there, then grabbed the hen and put her there. She settled down and covered the chicks. I'll have to watch what happens next. I do have a chick cage ready to go with a heat lamp if needed.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to hedgehog (Reply #4)

Wed May 22, 2013, 10:32 PM

5. And.... she's moved herself and the chicks twice, but seems to be

settled for now. She's keeping them and herself in the quieter side of the coop. (For some reason, our coop has two rooms.)

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to hedgehog (Reply #5)

Sun May 26, 2013, 06:01 PM

6. She had 2 chicks with her this morning, now she's down to one!

There's no sign of the missing chick.

I think I understand why hatcheries are a big business!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread