Broody apartments for hens and chicks


Aug 19, 2019
Norman, OK
I'm in a situation (that I never want to be in again). I've had six broody hens this year. Normally I'll either let broodies set on our eggs OR purchase chicks for them and slip them under the hens at night. But, I've never had this many. Part of the problem is that I let the first broodies go too long, I think. Then others jumped on the broody bandwagon.
So, I ordered 6 chicks and gave a few of our eggs to one hen to sit on--only one hatched.

We have a very nice coop with electricity and a covered pen. They also have a chicken yard that is about 120 ft long and about 20 ft. wide. Within this yard is our old small coop/pen. And a couple of dog kennels. One has been covered with hardware cloth and given a roof. We have 2 "broody" boxes that can go into that dog kennel, which can be divided in two. One broody box is an old crate and the other is a dog crate that has been covered with hardware cloth.
So, I have places for hens and chicks....but not 6 hens with chicks. Luckily 2 of the momma hens are sharing the old coop reasonably well.
Two are in the covered and divided dog kennel. Finally I put the last two broodies in the other dog kennel that just has regular chain link fencing around it and a tarp for shade. I am trying to break their broodiness.

All of this sounds nice and great, only it's not really. I've had chick injuries because they've found ways to squeeze through either to the outside yard (where thankfully the rooster protected the little thing from the other hens until I found it. He's a good boy). And another chick squeezed into the other hen/chick area. Its momma jumped the divider and got into a fight with the other momma hen. She was pretty beat up. The baby was fine this time, however this same baby was injured the week prior because it had squeezed into wire. It had a horrible injury on it's "armpit". That healed up quickly though. (Both times, the momma and chick were moved to the chick brooder to heal for a couple of days).

ANYWAY, all of this back story because I've been searching for some type of broody hen/chick apartment complex design, but have been unable to find anything. In my mind, I see three apartments on one side and three on the other side--they would be back-to-back.
The broody boxes would be smallish--maybe 2'x3' and each would have a small pen attached to the broody box. All the pens would be divided from each other and covered.

Has anyone built or seen anything like this? If so, will you show me your pictures?
Thank you.


Premium Feather Member
12 Years
Nov 23, 2010
St. Louis, MO
Well, I just move broody hens and their eggs in there after I clean them out, disinfect and place new pine shavings. I use the same nest material they had when they went broody so they will stay on the eggs.
After a week or so in the apartment, I move them back with the flock so they aren't outside till I do that but they have a huge window in the apartment for fresh air.

I'll find more pictures for you. They were built as breeding units with a forage area but work great for broodies. Just the right size. Since broodies don't really need much, I like that with fresh bedding, I can see how many times they defecate. It is normally once a day but not every day.

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