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If a hen goes broody

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
If a hen goes broody inside a raised (4+ ft above the ground) nesting box and hatches the eggs, will she be able to get her chicks down to the ground? Or will I have to assist?
post #2 of 6

Hi I'm a neighbor.

The chicks will jump out but they won't be able to jump back into the nest. You need a lower nest.

Probably 18" is as high as a chick is able to jump back in.

NPIP 43-813

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.

Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.”                  Mark Twain

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NPIP 43-813

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.

Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.”                  Mark Twain

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post #3 of 6
I’ve seen a hen get chicks out of a ten feet high hay loft. She flew to the ground and said jump, they did, then bounced up and ran to her. You can help if you wish but my broody hens know when the hatch is over much better than I do. My highest nests are only about 3 feet off the coop floor but I don’t worry about her being able to get the chicks down at all.

One warning. I saw several posts on here about chicks falling out of the nest after hatch before the broody brought them off. I did not understand that at all until it happened to me. Baby chicks that hatch early often like to crawl up on Mama’s back. If she is sitting too close to the edge they may miss the nest when they fall off. I let a hen hatch in a cat litter bucket, about 7-1/2” wide. That nest was about 3 feet off the coop floor. I had to pick several chicks up off of the floor. That nest was just too narrow so it has been retired.

I don’t know what your nest looks like. Most will be OK, especially if it is enclosed and she sets toward the back. At four feet high the size and shape of the nest is the only thing I’d worry about.

When my hens bring their chicks off the nest, they do not go back to those nests. They normally take them to a corner of the coop to sleep on the floor. I’m sure others have had different experiences but mine just don’t take them back to the nest they hatched in, even if it is pretty low to the floor.

 I grow a little impatient when people seem to think that they are unique in the world. Of course they are. Just like everyone else.

 

"If you make every game a life-and-death proposition, you're going to have problems. For one thing, you'll be dead a lot." — former North Carolina coach Dean Smith

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-much-room-do-chickens-need

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 I grow a little impatient when people seem to think that they are unique in the world. Of course they are. Just like everyone else.

 

"If you make every game a life-and-death proposition, you're going to have problems. For one thing, you'll be dead a lot." — former North Carolina coach Dean Smith

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-much-room-do-chickens-need

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post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 
My nesting box is made out of a tipped over cabinet so the doors are the roof and we cut an opening in the bottom of the cabinet which acts as the entrance.

We also have the deep litter system inside the coop so there's at least 1ft of fluffed up straw for the chicks to land on.

Thank you both ChickenCanoe and Ridgerunner for your input!
post #5 of 6

I made a portable floor nest......

....but my broody hatched in frigid winter temps(won't do that again) and they needed to have absolute access.

 

 

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

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Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Reply
post #6 of 6

I move my broodies and their new hatched chicks to a nest on the floor, the same day they hatch, or the day before.  I have had chicks fall to the floor once dried off, and they can't get back to the nest, and the mom won't leave the nest if all the eggs are not hatched.  The floor nest is a pet carrier with the door removed.

...what you know for sure that just ain't so...--Mark Twain;  is what harms future generations.--me
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...what you know for sure that just ain't so...--Mark Twain;  is what harms future generations.--me
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