brood hen boxes

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by trooper, Apr 9, 2012.

  1. trooper

    trooper Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 26, 2010
    Staunton,Va
    [​IMG][​IMG] I am in the process of building another coop.I already have one and I'm needing more housing.The hens that I now have are layers.I have 26 more babies coming,some are layers,1 rooster,and some brood hens.I am wanting to start raising my own from start to finish.I am going to put some nesting boxes in for the eatable eggs,but 1 of the questions I have is should I put in a brood box just for the broods.If so where should I put it and what size.I plan on making an area that I can separate but also see the bigger chickens.I plan on doing my run the same way.I will also have questions on the raising,what to look for,what to do,etc,but that goes on another thread and at a later time.My wife is very understanding with my chickens and understands that eventually I would like to raise my birds for meat as well.A step at a time.Thanks[​IMG]
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    There are a lot of different ways you could go about this. The way I understand it is that you intend to let the hens hatch the eggs and raise the chicks? You got some hens of a specific breed that are known to go broody, so you are not planning on using an incubator and raising them yourself?

    There are two basic ways to let the hens hatch the eggs. Hens have been hatching eggs with the flock for thousands of years in the nests they normally lay in. If you let the hens hatch with the flock, you need to mark the eggs and check under the hen once a day for any new eggs showing up. There are things that can go wrong, so some people isolate them.

    If you isolate a broody, you need to provide a nesting box and an area big enough for feed, water, and her to go poo. It needs to be so you can lock her in there and not let any other hen inside to lay with her and so she cannot go back to her old nest. Since it is in the coop, you are not worried about making it predator-proof, so you can save some money and use cheaper chicken wire unless you have something else available that’s free. Just use wire with small enough holes that baby chicks cannot get through it.

    The nest can be a standard size, just like any other nest. I’d build it so you could lock the hen inside the nest only and make it really dark when she is locked in there. You may find that handy when you move a broody in there to get her to accept the new nest. The area available for her does not have to be huge. I’ve got one that is the nest plus 16” x 24” but if I were doing it again, I’d probably go a bit bigger. No more than 24” X 24” plus the nest though.

    In this set-up, I’d put the nest on the ground and where the other chickens on the roost will not be pooping in it unless it is covered. If you cover it, you could use the top for a droppings board if it is under the roosts. I’ve seen a broody get chicks out of a 10’ high hay loft. Mama says jump and they do, so I don’t freak out at the thought of a chick jumping down from a nest a couple of feet off the ground. But if it is on the ground Mama might use it to take the chicks back to that nest at night. Sometimes mine do and sometimes they just take then to a corner of the coop.

    Hopefully you can get something out of this rambling. There are a whole lot of different ways you could go about this and be successful. Good Luck!!!
     
  3. trooper

    trooper Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 26, 2010
    Staunton,Va
    [​IMG]Thank you. You have been a big help.I most definitely understood your ramblings.You hit the nail on the head on my intentions.As I construct my new coop I plan on putting pictures on my site.[​IMG]
     

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