I have a flock of free range chickens. I've been raising chicks purchased at feed stores over the past 3 years but now I finally have a broody hen! She has been sitting on eggs for 10 days now. When she started to go broody I let her have 1 of my two coops to herself. The rest of my flock (although initially upset) are all in the other coop at night. The coop floor my BH is in, is sand and the nesting boxes are about 18 to 24 inches off the bottom. What do I need to do for the babies when they arrive? Do I just need a ladder so they are able to get down from the nesting box? Should I try and build another nesting box on the coop floor? Do I need to move her? If I do need to move her how do I do that and when?
Currently the coop is shut and I have food and water for her. I go in and clean out and make sure she is taking her break. Once the chicks arrive should I wait for a period of time before I open the coop up? I"m worried the other hens will want to get back into their "favorite nesting box".
Any help/advice is appreciated!!