Broody hen - how to provide a safe place for her?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by CarolJ, Feb 28, 2012.

  1. CarolJ

    CarolJ Dogwood Trace Farm

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    I've searched BYC for the answer to my questions and haven't found it - although I haven't searched ALL of the hundreds of threads on broody hens. [​IMG] I have read a bunch, though.

    I've got an Araucana hen who is broody - starting yesterday. Right now she's sitting on a couple of ceramic eggs, but I'd like to put some real eggs under her. However, she's in a nest box in the coop with all the other chickens (25 others including 2 roosters). Should I let her stay where she is - although the nest boxes are a couple feet off the floor, or should I move her to her own pen. There are 10 nest boxes in the coop - two rows of five. So there are plenty of nest boxes for the other hens. With the nest boxes being 2 feet off the ground, baby chicks would not be able to get to the floor unless I built a ramp for them later. If I move her, would it work to form a pen with some plastic fencing inside the larger coop or should I move her completely away from the rest of the flock?

    My goal is to provide a safe place for her and the eggs - and the chicks if/when they hatch.
     
  2. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Overrun With Chickens

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    I keep my broodies in a small bird cage inside the coop. Its just big enough to hold her, food, water and to give her enough space to drop her dredded broody bombs everyday. Which I clean up with a kitty litter scoop to help keep it clean. When the chicks hatch, its gets a little cramped, so I only leave them in there for 2-3 days so they can get their feet under them. Then its out to join the flock. My broodies always seem to want to sit in everyones favorite nest box, which causes all sorts of upset. The other chickens would rather lay on the coop floor then use another box. I've even tried simply moving the broody to another nest box, no dice, they always go back to that favorite box. So I started using the cage. Leaving her in the box can also cause issues.....the other hens will try to climb in there with her, which leads to fighting and broken eggs. Its alot harder to integrate a momma and babies then it is to just let her brood in the coop, IMO. I'm so jealous, I've got 17 Cochin girls, and not a single broody yet :(
     

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