A wide board for a broody hen

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Mrs. K, Dec 2, 2014.

  1. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Crowing

    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    I had a broody hen hatch out chicks in late October. We had two nice weeks of weather, then bitter cold. They did fine.

    The chicks are a bit more than 5 weeks old. Last week I laid a wide board at roost height. the board is about 10 inches wide. Tonight when I checked on them, the nest was empty. She had them roosting with the flock, but still tucked under her! The urge to roost is a strong urge, and I think it can cause a hen to give up her babies a little early. By adding the board, they can still cuddle underneath her, but she is with the flock at roost height.

    Mrs K
    1 person likes this.
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    Great idea. I've always been amazed at how rapidly 'late hatched' chicks feather out and develop.
  3. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    My coop kind of integrates this idea. It's a former greenhouse with slat shelves running all the way around about waist height. Most of my flock roosts there, some of the birds go up higher to the rafters. Mommas with babies roost on the shelves pretty young. I put branches leaning on the shelves to make it easier for the littles (and the silkies) to get to the shelf.

    Even my almost grown birds like to try to tuck under each other at night like this. It's nice cause there's an abundance of roost/shelf area and not much fussing for the prime spot.

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