Do I need to move a broody to a special place?

Don’t forget to add water and some food to the box – image below

So let us assume you determined you have a broody hen and would like to to hatch some chicks. Unfortunately she is sitting in one it the coop’s nest boxes. Is that a problem?

It is actually, even if you do have enough nest boxes left for your other layers. The reason is: your other layers WILL manage to lay in that same nest the broody is sitting on. This is not good. Even if you have marked the eggs, you  have to check/disturb daily and remove the fresh eggs, though it can be done.

Also, a nest box is small and often off the ground and too high for day old chicks to get back into if they fell out. A good place would be either a section of the coop or a separate broody box where the hen can get off the nest to eat and poop and others can’t disturb her nest.

Another reason: the broody WILL most likely sit an another nest should this one be occupied when they return from their once a day food and relief trip, and even if not – they just might get confused. Strangely enough, they will NOT remember how many eggs they were sitting on.

So – it would be good to move her, but you don’t have to. It will take more management if you leave her there. This is what I did for one of them. I removed the screen once a day and took her off the nest at a time she was willing to eat. I was not as diligent with the one next to her and she had new eggs showing up  – too my surprise and  it did not go well with those eggs.

Also, loosing 2 nest boxes was not going to work and I needed to improvise to make new ones.

Then another one got broody. This is her set up:

After the heatwave – another broody – and with her I am doing it like this: she is staying in her chosen nest-box as she did NOT accept to be moved into the brooder (I waited too long, but maybe that did not matter) and I remove the “extra” eggs (the un-marked ones) every day. The first couple of days she got confused, but now she returns to her nest. She is sitting on 7 eggs. I will put a screen on the front once hatching started so the chicks won’t fall out. After they are all hatched, I will move her into the brooder.