BackYard Chickens › BYC Forum › Raising BackYard Chickens › Raising Baby Chicks › Fencing for babies, broody mom question
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Fencing for babies, broody mom question

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

So the simple way of asking: 

 

**** 1) Is the larger holed chicken wire safe for preventing hatched babies from going through? Or will they have no desire to go away from mom? (Or by the time they want to, they can't fit?)

 

Our chicken pen is roughly 40x40 ft or bigger. it is field fencing with chickenwire over it. It is the larger hole chicken wire. 
I am really hoping that is a large enough pen that the babies won't try to stray from mom enough to go through holes, at least until they are too big to fit?

 

2) Can she brood out the babies in her own little house, but have it be not separated from the flock fence-wise (so within the fencing of that 40ish x 40ish foot pen)? 

 

 

 

 

Thanks!

post #2 of 8

Unfortunately, chicks can fit through that wire, and they're not that bright :/. Not saying they're going to go through it, but they're capable. That said, I do raise mine in just the fencing you described, but I have grass and other greenery growing outside the fence that discourages the littles from straying too far from momma. 

 

She can absolutely share a run with the flock. I don't separate mine at all, they brood in the coop Sounds like you have plenty of room for her to keep her babies out of everyone else's way. 

Rachel BB

Stem cell transplant from unrelated donor in Feb 2015. Thank you to all my friends here on BYC for all your support during my treatment and ongoing recovery!

Reply

Rachel BB

Stem cell transplant from unrelated donor in Feb 2015. Thank you to all my friends here on BYC for all your support during my treatment and ongoing recovery!

Reply
post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 

:) Yeah, after I posted this, I found my old threads... I let her brood 6 eggs 2 years ago, got 3 babies... I had them in a pen within the big pen, separated for 3 weeks, using 'baby' chicken wire (small holes). They escaped at the 3 week mark and I quit fighting them, so I removed that and let them all coexisit with no issues. 

 

I think this time I won't do anything. I only plan to move her and the eggs to the nursery coop. They will sleep there, and during the day interact with the flock, like before. But this time from the start. I would like to attempt to make a baby creep feeder, to save the starter feed costs, but need to look into ideas yet. :)

The nursery coop exists only because my main coop is rather small, and the nest boxes are some 2 feet off the ground, so good luck getting babies up there safely! 

Last time I had her in a tarped over dog crate and moved her the day they hatched (my math was VERY wrong lol, such a newbie, huh?!). That worked out fine. 

 

I have been contemplating moving 2 hens to share the eggs and nursery coop. The eggs are all from a 3 day time period, so should roughly hatch the same day or so, I would assume... Do you think that would be an okay thing? They are both very broody, though one seems slightly dingier than the other, occasionally sitting on air. Both are Buff Orpingtons, so I honestly can't say who brooded for me last time (heck, it could be one who passed away for all I know! They lost their leg bands ages ago. I just recently redid the current 2 BOs.)

 

Thanks so much for the help!

post #4 of 8

I don't know about other's experiences, but my broody hens never try to take the chicks back onto the nest after that first few days. They just hunker down in a corner and brood them there. So I don't think the elevated nest boxes would be an issue. 

 

Lots of folks seem to have two broodies and it goes well. The only time I remember doing it with the chicks hatching at basically the same time it didn't go well, but in my case one hen was a very dominant bird and the other was a very, very docile timid omega bird. The alpha went after the omega's chicks pretty hard. I just separated them and that solved the problem. 

 

That said, I have a silkie and a bantam cochin that have been brooding air for about 3 weeks. I've got eggs in the incubator that are hatching this week, and I'm going to graft those chicks to the two broodies (they're in the same pen). I'm hoping to be able to do that this weekend so I can keep a good eye on everyone and make sure things go well. Both these hens are very maternal and pretty easy going with each other, so I'm thinking it should work :fl

 

I love that I can look back at what I've posted here and remember what's worked for me. I stink at record keeping and now my memory's shot, so BYC is my on-line documentation resourse :P

Rachel BB

Stem cell transplant from unrelated donor in Feb 2015. Thank you to all my friends here on BYC for all your support during my treatment and ongoing recovery!

Reply

Rachel BB

Stem cell transplant from unrelated donor in Feb 2015. Thank you to all my friends here on BYC for all your support during my treatment and ongoing recovery!

Reply
post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 

Good to know she wouldn't try to go back in the nest box... I don't think leaving them in is a great idea still though, because they would hunker down right under the roosts and get pooped all over. :O Yelch, lol

 

I just decided to not fence her in at all this time. I bought a used dog house cheaply from CL, cleaned it up, painted it, put a new metal roof on it, made a smaller door for the giant dog door and set her up in there with some food and water this morning. I put a chunk of fencing across the hole for the time being so she would get in her nest without distraction and so the others would let her be, just in case. She chowed down for a few minutes and then went and sat on her 10 eggs. :)  

I even made a little roost for when the babies are ready, using scraps. 

And it is such a cute little nursery coop too! :)

 

I think she will enjoy not being bugged or pushed out by her flockmates when she goes to get food. 

 

Even though I really want to try it, I will wait with the 2 hens at the same time. Maybe next time, but I have caught these 2 hens pecking each other at times during this broodiness, so I will leave them apart right now. I think too that I am going to crate my non-egg-brooding broody to break her before the babies come. Plus I want her to earn her keep lol. 

 

And yes, going through the old posts is most convenient. :)

post #6 of 8

I had an interesting issue with my fencing today. I have chicken wire on the inside and the 2x4 field fence on the outside. I'd let the main flock (including my broody and her 4 chicks that are less than a week old)  out to free range. Didn't tell the boys the birds were out and they let the dogs out. The dogs harassed the hen and her babies. When I went out there, one baby had gone through a crack back into the run, one was lost in the weeds, two were outside the run with the hen and the poor hen was freaking out :(. So, opened the run door and got her back with the baby in there. Then, with her calling, the chicks were trying to go back through the fence to get with momma. They got stuck between the wires, trying to fit through the chicken wire. I guess they're just big enough they can't fit. So I'm trying to get them back out, and momma's on the inside thinking I'm killing her babies, so she's trying to kill me :ep. I'm glad there was a fence between us, she was screaming and flogging and carrying on like I've never seen. I got the chicks one at a time and got them back in the run. She finally forgave me when I tossed out some scratch, bless her momma heart. 

Rachel BB

Stem cell transplant from unrelated donor in Feb 2015. Thank you to all my friends here on BYC for all your support during my treatment and ongoing recovery!

Reply

Rachel BB

Stem cell transplant from unrelated donor in Feb 2015. Thank you to all my friends here on BYC for all your support during my treatment and ongoing recovery!

Reply
post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 

Oh my gosh!!! Glad to hear you survived with the fence's help and that all the babies were fine and safe. :) 

 

Hopefully we don't have that issue. Previously, knock on wood, there was never any problem. But she only had 3... I let her have 10 eggs this time, though no clue yet on viability of each one. 

I plan to only small wire off a few places, like the gate from the garden to the chickens. 

post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 

So these other hens are driving me crazy! 

I moved broody and eggs to her own little nursery coop. For the first day or so I left her access door blocked so she settled in and also so the other hens let her be... I figured she was settled enough and took the blocker away, figuring the other hens would leave her alone....

Uh, no, I just went out to do a check... momma hen was not on the nest, but another non-broody hen was exploring the inside... lol ugh. Momma hen was back in an empty nest box. 

So I put her back on her eggs and put up a crappy but functional hen blocking fencing pen for her. I figured she might like to stretch her legs a bit more than the 2x3ish foot coop allows for.

 

So either I am going to fashion something more permanent or just leave it this way until they hatch... 

 

Dang birds!

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Raising Baby Chicks
BackYard Chickens › BYC Forum › Raising BackYard Chickens › Raising Baby Chicks › Fencing for babies, broody mom question