Building brooding boxes, what should i use in the bottom?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by DMSrabbit, Dec 12, 2010.

  1. DMSrabbit

    DMSrabbit Chillin' With My Peeps

    224
    7
    101
    Dec 6, 2010
    Portland, OR
    I have a mother sitting on her eggs, and she will need a box to "deliver" them in. I also have about 35 others in a incubator that will be hatching soon. I have the two brood boxes complete and they are ready for use. However i want to know what bedding i should use. I have both aspen wood chips, and timothy hay. Which should i use? Is there a better one?

    thanks,

    Nate
     
  2. aceoftrumps

    aceoftrumps Out Of The Brooder

    58
    1
    31
    Nov 14, 2010
    South Central Louisiana
    Personally I use pine shavings.....don't know what Aspen chips look like so I can't advise. I've had good luck with the pine shavings and even use it for my nest boxes. The hens seem to like it and to me, it's better than hay. Just my $.02 worth. lol

    Kurt
     
  3. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

    34,028
    453
    448
    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Either your aspen chips or your hay would work fine.
     
  4. chicks4kids

    chicks4kids Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 22, 2009
    Northern Indiana
    I prefer the chips...I think the chips are easier to clean up [​IMG]
     
  5. Michigan Transplant

    Michigan Transplant Chillin' With My Peeps

    215
    1
    111
    Mar 7, 2010
    Marionville, MO
    Is there a better time of year to hatch eggs? I am a first timer and wondering when I should let my hens sit and hatch their eggs. How many should be under her at a time for her health and how long does it take. Thanks from an unexperienced chickener.
     
  6. saladin

    saladin Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,831
    108
    221
    Mar 30, 2009
    the South
    Personally I prefer wire.

    I use wire bottoms for all my brooders.
     
  7. DMSrabbit

    DMSrabbit Chillin' With My Peeps

    224
    7
    101
    Dec 6, 2010
    Portland, OR
    I have heard that wire is good, for the easy ability to clean. I just don't want to have buy new stuff, or build a false bottom i have to remove.

    Also @ Michigan Transplant: I am no expert, merely a novice such as yourself, however; any time of year can work for your broody hens. People will advise you to move them, in the winter, but if u check the "incubating chicks" forum you will hear of people having broody hens hatching eggs in negative temperatures, and with at least a foot of snow on the ground. The chicks will always be able to find comfort and heat underneath the mom. I have a broody hen (a silkie bantam) on top of 10 full sized eggs and she seems to be fine. I have however, moved her inside to a quiet place with access to food and water, and even gave her a small red 75 watt heat lamp for a little added "comfort". I candled the eggs yesterday (day 11) and all seem to be active and growing!! Bantam hens can usually clutch up to 12 eggs and do just fine. I have heard people say however; that their full size hens have clutched, hatched, and raised more than 15 chicks.

    I would say that broody hens normally raise and clutch babies in the spring/summertime. Their natural instincts will tell them that is the best time of year for the most successful hatch, however, as i said before, u can literally hatch eggs with a broody hen all year long. Get some eggs and start making some chicks!!! and then take some pics so we can all watch!!!
     
  8. Michigan Transplant

    Michigan Transplant Chillin' With My Peeps

    215
    1
    111
    Mar 7, 2010
    Marionville, MO
    Thank you SO much for all your help. Hate being such a newbe but this is the only way you learn. I think I will wait till at least March to let the hens sit.
    Another question: After they start setting can they be moved to seclusion or should they be moved before they start setting? Is there a forum on raising chickens for first timer's? LOL
    Love reading everyone's stories about their flocks and the pictures they provide. I am also new to posting and will have to master the uploading of pictures when the "babies" start arriving. THANK you so much.

    I have also been reading the posts about growing seeds for the winter. Think I might try this to give them a little something else.[​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2010
  9. DMSrabbit

    DMSrabbit Chillin' With My Peeps

    224
    7
    101
    Dec 6, 2010
    Portland, OR
    @ MichiganTransplant- If u want to wait til spring to let them sit, you CAN, but you don't HAVE to. Remember they CAN hatch all year. I would move her to her own safe and secluded "space" so she can remain undisturbed for the incubation period. My recommendation is to use nesting boxes u can easily move/remove. This way u can take the hen and her eggs safely, and merely transport her box into a safe area. This is probably far easier than actually moving the whole nest. The hen may get angry and peck at you, or not like her new location and try to return to her previous spot. If u can take the whole nest/hen at the same time, u don't have any worries at all..

    Also, DONT EVER BE AFRAID TO ASK QUESTIONS!! this is how we learn, and continue to learn as a species. Every person on this forum is very courteous and kind. I have only EVER experienced positive things. They are a wealth of knowledge, and i wouldn't be able to tell u any of the things without asking questions myself.. Keep trying, and keep asking questions!!!
     
  10. 1 Bad Rotti

    1 Bad Rotti Chillin' With My Peeps

    215
    0
    99
    Nov 1, 2010
    I don't know if I should have or not but I put cat litter in my brooder. It seems to work fine, its also cheap.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by