broody hen in wire bottom cage

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by hamilton3475, Apr 3, 2011.

  1. hamilton3475

    hamilton3475 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a broody hen in her wire bottom pen. She has a little laying box I built for her with straw inside. My question is can she hatch eggs up off the ground like that? I'm just not sure she can control humidity without being on the ground. If anyone has any experience please let me know, I would love to give her a few duck eggs to hatch for me:)
     
  2. ScotianChick

    ScotianChick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I wouldn't... even if it worked the babies feet would get hurt on the wire most likely.
     
  3. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Why are you putting her in a wire bottom pen if you want her to incubate? I thought the idea of the wire bottom pen was to "cool her off" underneath so she'd stop being broody. Other than that, I don't really see why you'd want to put a broody on wire. It's tough on the feet.
     
  4. kuntrygirl

    kuntrygirl Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

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    Although my brooder boxes have a wire floor, I still line the wire bottom floor with towel or puppy pads and hay. I place the eggs on the puppy pads and hay and set the hen on her eggs. There has never been a problem with temps. I do the old fashion way of incubating (broody hens) and I have a 98% successful hatch. No cracked eggs, etc.

    Once the chicks are born, I continue to have a hay in the brooder boxes so that the mother and babies can walk on. The babies may still walk on the wire bottom because of kicking up the hay to one side or another. The poop falls on they hay or falls through the wire. Easy cleaning.

    This is not the ideal way that others do it but it works for me. I have been doing it this way for about 10 years with no problems. My girls hatch up to 100 chicks EVERY year and I have not had one single problem with chicks having leg or feet problems. Maybe because of the puppy pads and hay.

    ETA: If the wire bottom is your only alternative, I would suggest placing a towel and some hay down so that the eggs can be placed on that.
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2011
  5. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Yes, I've done something similar. My first batch of chicks was artificially brooded in an old bird cage with a wire floor. But I covered the floor with a cloth towel, and put layers of paper towels on top of that to make poo removal easier.
     
  6. kuntrygirl

    kuntrygirl Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

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    Quote:Yes, I've done something similar. My first batch of chicks was artificially brooded in an old bird cage with a wire floor. But I covered the floor with a cloth towel, and put layers of paper towels on top of that to make poo removal easier.

    [​IMG]

    You're so right. It makes poo removal sooooo much easier.
     
  7. kuntrygirl

    kuntrygirl Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

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    If you look to the left of the pic at the bottom, you will see in the corner a little bit of the wire bottom. To the left/lower middle of the pic, you will see something that looks bluish. Well that is the puppy pad. And of course, you see the hay. This is how my broody's nests are when they sit on eggs. I have never lost any eggs by using my wire bottom/padding method. As a matter of fact, this particular hen has hatched 4 chicks so far this week.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2011
  8. hamilton3475

    hamilton3475 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks yall, I have her in the wire bottom pen to keep critters from getting her( She's one of my free range hens ), She does have a nesting box full of hay. I kinda like the puppy pad and hay idea on all the wire. I'll give that a try. I have always brooded my chicks on wire and have never had feet or leg problems. I think the hay would be better though, sure better than walking in poop lol.
     
  9. hamilton3475

    hamilton3475 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:That's the same setup I have except without the pad. I'm sure gonna give it a try. Thank You very much for all the great information
     
  10. kuntrygirl

    kuntrygirl Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

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    Quote:That's the same setup I have except without the pad. I'm sure gonna give it a try. Thank You very much for all the great information

    You're welcome. If you don't have a puppy pad, please put an old towel or rag or something under the hay or stray. Those hens move around turning those eggs and you don't want your hay or stray to move away from that bottom and your eggs end up on the wire.

    Keep us posted on how it turns out. Good Luck.[​IMG]
     

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