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Broody, chicks and a tall coop

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

I have a broody hen that just hatched 7 chicks, all 2-3 days old.

 

The coop:

She hatched them in the coop, a 3x4 box that is raised about 3 feet off the ground. This is chicken central, where the roost and nests are. I have a long ramp that leads to the entrance of the coop. It's fairly steep, at least, for a baby chick.

 

The house:

This sits inside of a larger henhouse, which opens to a decent sized run. Sand floors, straw. It's wood with some rot, so it's not impervious to small predators.

 

What the heck do I do now? I hear the broody scratching at the coop floor and want to let her out.

 

I have a chicken tractor 4x8 feet with 1/2 inch mesh all around, and a medium sized pet carrier that I could convert to a temporary shelter. I'm thinking of moving mama and the chicks out to this. Probably in the yard itself, where theres a lot more grass and bits to scratch and eat.

 

Would this be OK? Put the chicks and mama in the tractor, with a pet carrier and line the area around the tractor with chicken wire to prevent diggers? Can I leave them overnight, or should I gather them up and put them back in the coop?

When would be the best time to move them out into the yard? 

Do you think a chick can walk up a ramp if I lined it with burlap to give it something to grab onto?

 

Feeling a bit overwhelmed, so thanks for your help!

post #2 of 3

It's best to narrow your issues down to the most important one first, and that's the safety of the chicks, unless you are indifferent to having them disappear as wild critters figure out ways to get to them. So you need to choose the safest place for the broody to raise her brood.

 

As for the ramp, chicks quickly develop wing feathers so as to help them hop up onto things, and it's no time at all and they are able to get up ramps and even steps. The broody will teach them.

 

It's up to you to assess the safest most secure place to house the broody and chicks, but I wouldn't worry about the chicks being able to get about, wherever it happens to end up being.

post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 

OK, thank you azygous. I will keep them in the elevated coop for a bit.

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