Broody hen in high nesting box, what to do with chicks when they hatch?


In the Brooder
Mar 22, 2018
Nova Scotia
HI there,
Our first time hatching eggs. We have two broody Silkie mix hens sitting in one box. I have not been able to relocate them to the new part I have attached to our hen house.
1) When the chicks hatch will they fall out or will the hen most likely keep them tucked in? Until I can relocate them?

2) Can I let them all mix with the other chickens and rooster once they are hatched? I have the other coop for them attached to the already hen house, it shares the pen, but haas its own entrance.

We are expecting them Easter time. :)


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Hello and Welcome to BYC!

Chickens will try to stay on the chicks, but accidents happen and one may fall out. Can you glue or staple a piece of wood or cardboard or wire, about four inches high, along the side of the nest as a stopper? Once the chicks actually begin to hatch, I mean.

I let my chicks roam with the flock after they'e a couple days old (old enough to follow mum around and not get lost) after eliminating a few safety hazards, such as ramps (Chicks don't understand ramps.) They get along fine.

Some people always section them off from the flock, perhaps using a wire divider in the coop. It comes down to personal preference and how you think your flock will act, and what your set-up is. There is no one right way to do things.

Do supply chick feed. Chicks should not eat layer, as the concentration of calcium can damage their developing internals. Layer's also a little lower in protein, too. One thing that you can do is feed everyone an all-flock feed (crumbles for now) and supply calcium on the side, if you choose to raise the chicks within the flock.

Be careful about having two broodies on the same box. They're getting along fine now, and they'll probably continue to do so (ours did, the one time it happened,) but there are stories on here of sister broodies fighting over the chicks.

Good luck!
Thank you. I will do that for the barrier for when they start to hatch. I will have to keep an eye on them when they hatch. I just don’t know how to seperate them as they are stuck to eachother like glue! great tips, thank you very much.
I had this exact problem. My hen, named Bucky, sat on eggs last spring. She was in the second box up and inexperienced. She absolutely would not move from the nest, period! I didn't want her to die so I would feed her with a very small Tupperware bowl, water too. One egg hatched and she was a great Mom. I tried to move her to a nest on the floor, but she wouldn't have it. The second egg didn't hatch, and didn't hatch for too long a time for the first chick to survive and I took the first chick away to be sure it would be fed and not die. 3 days later a second chick hatched and I took that one too and bought two more to keep them company and raised them in a different coop with two other hens I had separated. The last two eggs died because the chicks couldn't get out of the shell. All this time Bucky wouldn't leave the nest! One chick was a pullet and one was a rooster. I kept them as a second flock. I free ranged the two flocks together and there was never any trouble. Long story short I'll always have a nest on the floor from now on! Good luck! :D

nesting boxes & bucky.jpg Bucky and chick small.jpg

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