Why Does My Broody Chicken Change Nesting Boxes?

Why does my Broody Chicken changes nesting boxes every day? Sometimes she is sitting on eggs sometimes she is not. Everyday she is in a new box. Will she ever sit in one box and hatch eggs?

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by: Sharon

That's a good question!

I've never had that happen. She may get pushed out by other hens wanting to lay, she may be low in pecking order of your flock, and not willing to insist it's her nest.

Hens would probably prefer to find a nesting spot that is private and hidden, where they won't be disturbed. In a flock with lots of activity, she probably isn't able to settle.

When I get a broody hen that I want to hatch some eggs, I pick the eggs I want hatched, mark them with a penciled X, and remove any new eggs added by other hens.

If I really want chicks, I move her & the eggs to a private cage where she has food & water on the edge of the nest, so she never has to leave.

A busy coop is really a poor place to brood and raise chicks. There's just too much going on. A young hen may not be able to focus on her job of incubating eggs and once they hatch, if they do & she is not experienced, she may have trouble protecting her chicks from the rest of the flock.

Good mother hens may make it look easy, but there is a lot involved in hatching a clutch and caring for their young. Staying on the eggs is just the first step.

You didn't say what breed she is. Some breeds are more natural mothers than others.

Chickens usually do what is natural for them. It's good to remember that when chickens aren't doing what we want them to, there is probably a very good and natural reason why.

Don't know how long she has been broody, but you might just discourage her from setting during this cycle and try again next time. In the mean while set up a brooding cage for her or another hen that goes broody. If you plan to raise chicks often, I'd consider setting up a brooding pen as well, where chicks can be safe and have plenty of room to grow up a bit before releasing them with their mother into the flock.

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