Broody hen with chicks about to hatch

ChickenNewbie2020

In the Brooder
Jul 6, 2020
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We discovered one of our hens was broody. She now has 5 eggs under her and will likely hatch some next week. As I am new to this I don’t know what to do.
We have 2 other hens and a rooster (who is not nice) Once the chicks hatch do we have to take mama and babies out of the coop and raise somewhere else? Do I just leave them in the coop/nesting box? We have 6 nesting boxes so there is enough space for the other hens to lay. But I am worried about the interaction with the other flock. Also the boxes don’t seem big enough to hold water and chick feed.
We have a fairly large coop but don’t really have a way to close off an area just for them. I had heard to put a brooder box in the coop- does that mean i can put in a decent size cardboard box and put the hen and chicks in there? Is that so the chicks don’t get out but mama hen can? And so the rest of the flock doesn’t bother them??
Any suggestions for this newbie would be appreciated!! Thank you.
 

DobieLover

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Is the nest she is incubating in elevated? If so, you will need to be out there when she is ready to come off the nest and put her and the chicks on the floor of the coop so she can bed down with them there. Broody hens are fiercely protective of their chicks and she will protect them. Normal rooster behavior is to wait for the mother to introduce the chicks to him so he can imprint with them and he will also protect them. They are his and he has a genetic interest in their survival.
Mom will stay on the floor of the coop with them until she thinks they are ready to go to the roosts, usually around 2-3 weeks old.
IMG_20190809_201043917.jpg
Broody hens like to nest down in a corner with her facing out so make sure there is good fresh bedding in the coop in the corners particularly.
Put the flock on chick starter or Flock Raiser crumbles now so the feed source is ready for your mixed flock. Put out a container of oyster shell for the other hens. I would remain with this feeding program permanently. This is the way I've fed my flock year round for over 3 years.
Do you have a large run/pen for the flock or do you free range?
 
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ChickenNewbie2020

In the Brooder
Jul 6, 2020
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11
39
The nesting box she is in is on the ground level of the coop. And she put herself in the corner box. So basically you’re saying just leave them there? They will just come out on their own when ready? Do I put a separate container of food and water in the box with them? They have a large coop and run.
 

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DobieLover

Easily distracted by chickens
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The nesting box she is in is on the ground level of the coop. And she put herself in the corner box. So basically you’re saying just leave them there? They will just come out on their own when ready? Do I put a separate container of food and water in the box with them? They have a large coop and run.
Can you please post pictures from inside the coop?
Yes, I would just leave her there. One other thing that you need to do is provide a chick safe waterer. I use one of these.
IMG_20190430_150952126.jpg

You can hang that just outside the box where she can reach it too. Is give it to her ASAP. She will train the chicks to it. She will take them to the feeder. You can put a second feeder at the other side of the coop so she doesn't have to leave the coop until she's ready.
 

Iluveggers

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It looks like the box is not on the ground (is your coop up in the air)? I worry they will fall out of the side. Can’t quite tell from the pic.
 

ChickenNewbie2020

In the Brooder
Jul 6, 2020
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11
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Can you please post pictures from inside the coop?
Yes, I would just leave her there. One other thing that you need to do is provide a chick safe waterer. I use one of these. View attachment 2760723
You can hang that just outside the box where she can reach it too. Is give it to her ASAP. She will train the chicks to it. She will take them to the feeder. You can put a second feeder at the other side of the coop so she doesn't have to leave the coop until she's ready.
I believe I have some chick water/food feeders from when we raised these hens so I can put those in the nesting box. Granted they were flipped over soo many times lol. I will try the water feeder you have posted. She has water nearby now. And the food is in the coop as well. Just a matter of if she actually gets up to get it.
 

ChickenNewbie2020

In the Brooder
Jul 6, 2020
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Here is their coop!
 

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