Mar 182011

It’s March here in Kentucky and one of my hens has gone broody.  I didn’t really want her to sit on eggs this early but she refused to budge.  Since the weather here is pretty warm, I ended up letting her keep four eggs to hatch. 

One common problem that I have when my hens go broody is that the other hens attack her and try to chase her off the nest so that they can lay their eggs in her nest.  I always mark the eggs that she is sitting on and just remove the extra eggs.  Keep in mind that there are plenty of nests to lay eggs in and they have lots of other areas around the horse barn where they lay eggs as well,  but they always want to lay in the one with the broody hen.

However, this time the poor embattled broody hen was fighting back!  She very aggressively defended her nest and refused to leave.  I was horrified to discover her covered in blood when I went out to let the hens out one morning.  I felt really bad for her and she was being such a good mother.

To prevent any more bloodshed, I ended up moving the nesting box into the tack room to protect her from the other hens.  I closed the trap door to the hay loft to prevent racoons from getting in there and killing her.   I have to go in and out of there twice a day to feed the horses but she doesn’t seem to mind at all.  She only gets aggressive if the other chickens try to enter the tack room.

My broody hen that was being attacked is now living like a queen.  She has her very own supply of food and water should she decide she needs it. She was a little nervous at first but she settled right down and is happy as can be.  This broody hen has raised chicks in the past and has proven to be an outstanding mother. 

Anyone that has this problem should consider trying to move the broody hen that is being attacked to a more isolated area so that she can brood her eggs in peace.  This is the second time I have moved a broody hen and so far this move has been successful just like the first one was.

Let me know if anyone else has had to resort to moving their broody hens that were being attacked.  I would love to know if anyone has had luck doing this or if the hen just abandoned the nest.

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