Hello, I just found this forum. This is my first year of hatching my own eggs. I have put 46 in and incubator for hire that is on a webcam http://cmfarm.us/cam_4.html on Mar 3rd. I also had a hen go broody that weekend and put 14 eggs under her on Mar 5th. Some of the other hens where picking on her and making her get off her nest. So, I put her and her eggs in the chicken tractor. A nice dry safe house for her. This is about as much as I have found out so far about broodies. She gets off the nest about 1 time a day. She keeps her nest very clean. I was surprised. I was wondering how I was going to clean it out with her on it. She comes out drinks, eats a little and 1 big poop then back on the eggs. It is amazing how the system changes so fast. Since she eats very little now I have been given her the high fat bird seed I put out for the birds in winter and spring, nut and fruit mix as well has the layer pellets. She also gets the left over fully cooked eggs. I know she will be hatching these lil chicks real soon. I'm guessing mar 26th-27th. What I need to know is what next? Do I take the chicks away and put them with my incubator chicks and stick more eggs under her? Or, do I let her raise her little family? The last one has it's own set of questions. Do I keep the family away from the flock? Keep them in the tractor for a couple weeks? How about food do I feed them the same as my indoor brood? Or do I let the family out and mix and forge with the flock? Setting chick feed out with the flock will make a huge mess and the adults will eat it and not let the babies in. If I keep the tractor open and put feed in it the adults will crowd into the tractor. I seen them do it when I used it as a half way house for chicks later year. See I said I have a lot of questions! Should I move the family into the main coop? Maybe put them in an empty corner?
Buffy my broody BO in the chicken tractor.
The main coop before we where finished. Well we still need to finish the closet on the end.
The tractor we built a couple years ago. It was built to house our 2 fat EE's. While we lived in the city. No chickens in our city
so we had to keep a low profile. Then we bought a place in the country and expanded. Then it was used a a halfway house for chicks.
Too big for brooder too small to forge. Last year we had around 50 chickens.
We got rid of all the rooster except 1 and all the breeds I didn't want to breed RIR,golden comets and cali whites.
Now just 2 Marans, 7EE's ,1BO and 1giant silverlaced cochin the kids pet. The only reason I still have the BO is she went broody LOL
The day I sold all the other hens she went broody she knew how to stay! By the end of the season I hope to have 14 EE's and 14 BCM
Keep it under 30 maybe. Too much coffee this morning I rambled sorry.