Advice please on my broody chicken dilemma

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by homeschoolmama, May 30, 2012.

  1. homeschoolmama

    homeschoolmama Songster

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    Apr 10, 2009
    Flagstaff, AZ
    I have 2 broody chickens in side by side nest boxes that are up high. I set eggs under them last Weds. Since the boxes are up high and in an attempt to keep the others hens out of the broodies' hair (feathers!), I set up a cage outside of their boxes with food and water and some room to move around. This is a rather Beverly Hillbillies affair made of pvc pipe, chicken wire, zip ties and bungee cords on top of an old camp table to raise it to the correct level. There is a piece of plywood on top that covers most of this broody cage, attached with bungees. Today when I checked on them one of the broodies was off her nest and completely out of the cage- I don't know how she managed to get out. She wanted back in and I put her into the cage and she tried to get into the wrong nest but I stuck her back into "her" nest box. I don't know that she would have been able to get back in w/o my help.

    So the dilemma-should I batten down the cage so that she could not get out at all?-I'm worried that if she really wanted out she could hurt herself or the cage or the eggs..... Should I take the lid off of the cage and let her go in and out as she pleases (and risk the other hens getting into the broody boxes)? I'd like to keep the cage up for (if) when chicks hatch out. Maybe I could put the plywood lid back on during the last day or so of setting?

    I'm headed out of town this weekend and my family really won't deal with the situation like I would, so I'd like to figure this out in the next day or so. Now I don't trust her that she'll get back on the right nest in a timely fashion if she does go in and out. I now have a 3rd broody in a different, lower nestbox that I'm thinking of sticking half of the eggs from under my wandering broody-just in case.....kinda spread the risk about.
    What do you think?
    Thanks
     
  2. homeschoolmama

    homeschoolmama Songster

    143
    0
    119
    Apr 10, 2009
    Flagstaff, AZ
    And a new development-last night went out to candle the eggs and when I put the eggs back under the non wandering one she just got up and left the nest and hung out in the cage... So I put ther eggs under broody #3... I really figured that since I don't NEED (have way too mnay chickens) these eggs to hatch and they are barnyard mix eggs from a friend so not really valuable AND I have a home for any potential roos Murpheys Law will click in and I'd have a rather successful hatch-now I'm questioning whether I'll get any....
     

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