Brooding Hens


10 Years
Jun 17, 2009
As I read the posts on how to treat brooding hens I remembered back (way longer than I like to think about) to how my mother and grandmother used to set brooding hens. When they had a hen get broody they used to put them in a brood pen as soon as they could tell she was brooding. This was an A Frame pen about 2 ft square at the bottom and about 2ft high. The back and sides were solid wood and the front chicken wire. The botom of the front was raised about 2 inches off the ground(to allow baby chicks to go in and out and to slip feed and water pans into pen. They would sometimes attempt to slip additional eggs under the hen so that each would have about 12 eggs.

These pens could be placed anywhere in the yard and once the chicks were hatched could be moved frequently to keep clean, by sliding to a new location. The hens and chicks were kept in these untill the chicks were big enough to put in to the grower run.

It's an idea that used to work well for mom and grandma back in the good old days.
Used to be a pretty common method. Of course someone had to turn the hen out for a little while each day. My mother used to allow them to hatch elsewhere , then moved the hen and chicks to the small pens. You can still see drawings of those set-ups in some of the old literature.

Another method was to tie the hen by one leg to the front of the small shelter. That kept her from wandering away with the chicks. Believe it or not, the hens quickly learned to manage the tether and did fine.


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