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Broody momma in box 4feet up, should I move her

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Kelson, May 30, 2017.

  1. Kelson

    Kelson Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My 1st time with a broody momma. She just had a 100% successful hatch of 7 babies. My question is she is in a coop/run with 1 roo and 7 other hens. Her nest box is 4feet up. Should I move her box? Should I separate an area for her and the babies?
    Also we have had none stop rain lately. We had sand in the coop/run but it has all washed away. Its now a muddy mess. What could I put down to get them out of the mud. I especially worry about the babies once they start venturing out.
     
  2. Lady of McCamley

    Lady of McCamley Overrun With Chickens

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    You either need to provide a ramp for mom and babies or move them.

    Even with a ramp, at 4 feet (similar to my broody hutch), many of the babes don't make the climb for several weeks, and momma sets up shop down below. For that, I keep a dog crate.

    If the rooster is attentive, and gentle, he'll help integrate the broody and chicks into the rest of the flock. My Barnevelder rooster is a thing of beauty to watch as he keeps any overly assertive hens away from momma and babes. If however, the flock is aggressive to mom or babes, you will need to separate until the chicks are older (generally by 2 to 4 weeks of age).

    As to mud...ah yes...my Oregon mud. I have clay soil, so sand produces cement.
    I've had the best luck with fine to medium pine shavings in the run. It really keeps down the mud and smell and is excellent coverage for the chicks.

    Congratulations on the broody hatch. They are wonderful to watch. Best way to hatch, imho.

    My thoughts.
    LofMc
     
    Kelson likes this.
  3. BearPatch

    BearPatch Just Hatched

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    This is our first time with a broody hen too. We have multiple nest box options ranging in height from the floor to 4 feet, she chose a box that is 2 feet off the floor and designed to hang on the wall. She is still sitting and we anticipate the eggs hatching in about another week or so. Should we move her and her eggs/chicks before or after they hatch?
     
  4. Kelson

    Kelson Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you for feedback. We do have a ramp but ive never seen any of the chickens use it. I do have a doghouse in there as I tried to move her nest while she was sitting one night but she was rather upset about it. Maybe She won't be now since they are hatched out?
    Our rooster is a good boy though this is the first brood hatch Ive felt with in all the years ove had my chickens. So not sure how he will be with the babies. They all look just like him though
    She actually hadnt laid in nearly a year and was talking about culling her. Guess she heard me and figured she better earn her keep so far she is being a wonderful momma. Starts growling at me anytime I walk into the coop.
     

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  5. Kelson

    Kelson Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I tried moving our momma and her nest to the ground inside a dog house and she was very upset about it so put it back. I may try to move it down again tomorrow and monitor to see how she does now that they have hatched.
     
  6. BearPatch

    BearPatch Just Hatched

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    Thank you. We have a large brooder (6' long x 4' wide) that we are going to set up in the coop for her for the "see, but don't touch" effort to keep them safe from the others and predators. We were just debating on the timing of the transfer.
     
  7. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    I've seen a hen get chicks out of a ten feet high hay loft. She said jump and they did, then ran to her when they hit the ground. The four feet high doesn't bother me. I don't know what your nest looks like though. I once let a hen hatch in a cat litter bucket, the top measured 7-1/2" x 11-1/2". That was a problem. The baby chicks that hatched first liked to climb up on Momma's back. In my larger nests when they fall off they hit the nest. In that one they fell three feet to the coop floor. It did not hurt them but four different times I had to put a chick back in with Momma.

    When my broody hens hatch I let them decide when to bring the chicks off the nest. The one on that bucket got all her chicks to the coop floor without a problem. Hens have been doing this for thousands of years without any help from humans.

    But if you have all seven out, your hatch is over and you are obviously worried about it. You can move the hen and the chicks to the coop floor now if you wish. Momma may attack you if you are handling her babies so be prepared for that. You might want to take the hen first and lock her up somewhere while you bring the chicks down.

    A work of caution. The chicks sometimes like to crawl up under Momma's wings or other places on her body. II killed a chick once when I picked up a broody hen. The chick was under her wing and I crushed it when I picked the hen up. So if you handle the hen be very careful.

    Since my nests are not on the coop floor, my hens do not take their chicks back to the nest after they come off. She takes them somewhere on the coop floor to spend the night, usually a corner but not always. I've had some set up right n the middle of the coop floor.

    Seven out of seven is a great hatch. Congratulations!
     
    jackiedee and Kelson like this.
  8. Kelson

    Kelson Chillin' With My Peeps

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    She is in a plastic drawer that goes in one of those storage thing. I decided to move her whole box to a dog house that's inside the coop. I'm actually not sure if the chicks will be able to get back in the box after they get out. Its rather deep but we shall see. I only just slightly lifted her up once to be sure the last chick got out the egg ok. All the rest hatched and were dry by the time I checked on this this morning.
    But I saw one peep out the top of her wing to see what was going on. Lol. And yes she was growling and pecking me something fierce. Seems like she is going to be an excellent momma.
     
  9. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    The chicks can jump up several inches, you might be surprised by how much. You can try putting steps for them, I use pavers and bricks since my pop door is a foot or more above the coop floor and the run surface.

    Another thought, does she need a nest? If the inside of that doghouse doesn't get wet when it rains she'll probably do fine just nesting on the floor, probably without bedding. When my coop is full, like it is now, I put a hen and her chicks in separate shelter out in the run. I can lock them up at night against predators. I put a nest in there. Usually the hen uses the nest, but some hens just keep them on the dirt floor.
     
  10. Kelson

    Kelson Chillin' With My Peeps

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    She has taken to just sleeping inside the doghouse now that they are all out the nest (I had to help the littlest out the nest) she is being a great mommy though!
     

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