Chicks in a nest questions

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by karlamaria, Dec 12, 2011.

  1. karlamaria

    karlamaria Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 30, 2011
    Western montana
    I got to thinking, when my girl is finally given eggs to hatch this spring, how do I protect the chicks from falling out of the nest? Her nesting box is 4 feet off the ground, how does a chicken come off the nest and leave the chicks with out them falling out? She really wants to be a mommy so I'm putting eggs under her from ,another person but am curious as to how they do not fall out or get knocked out. Thanks
  2. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Any danger is more likely to the eggs than the chicks, as they will most likely survive a fall (or jump) of this height at a very young age -- and usually they stay under the hen for the first day or two. Many a hen has hatched chicks in an old fashioned hay loft, much higher than 4'. Of course, once they are down, they stay down as they can't fly that high at first. I've let a broody hatch chicks in a nest that high. When everyone left the nest, the hen just covered the chicks in a new spot at ground level. The eggs will probably be OK if there is a barrier across the lower front of the nest, which you probably already have, to hold the litter in.

    If you're really concerned, you might consider moving the nest now so she will get used to the new location before it's time to sit on eggs.
  3. champer

    champer Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 13, 2011
    San Martin, CA
    Hi, I've only been raising chickens for less than a year however, my broodies raised 2 clutches last summer. My boxes are up high as well so I had the same worries as you. For the first few days I put a cardboard barrier in the front of the box to keep the chicks in, they quickly were climbing over it and I'd find one or more on the ground with an upset broody keeping the chick company. This happened several times a day, the chicks never seemed to suffer injury ( they seemed to sort of flutter to the ground), but it was a worry. I then made them a nest on the ground and that worked for a couple weeks till they figured how to use a ladder up to the raised nest nest box. I think the easiest thing would be to start with a low nest in a dog carrier or somesuch. I know lots of people here like to separate the new family from the rest of the flock, but I never had any trouble with the other 4 hens bothering the chicks.

    However you decide to do it , best wishes!
  4. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 23, 2009
    I used plastic storage bins and a plastic covered kitty litter box as nesting boxes for our broodies. I was able to move them around with the hens right in them without disturbing them, and this was extremely convenient for me. Plus, it's very easy to disinfect the plastic and make sure there are no mites in there to get after the hen and her chicks. I made sure each box was clean and had fresh bedding before the nesting season.
  5. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    Quote:I would make a nest lower. Most of mine are about 12 -18" above the floor and the chicks can come and go as they please.

    Lower nests also dissuade hens from roosting IN them.
  6. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    Once they are hatched, there is no reason to keep the chicks in the nest.
  7. karlamaria

    karlamaria Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 30, 2011
    Western montana
    I have a nest box on the floor, she or the other birds will not use it just the high one. Im going to try to move her and an egg she loves to sit on when the girls lay, into the bottom nest and see if she takes a move well, if so I will move her when I finally get the fertilized eggs and put her directly on them in that bottom box. thanks for the good info !!
  8. wyododge

    wyododge Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 30, 2011
    Just my 2 cents but if she chose the nest she is in, she is comfortable with it. Especially if there were other options for her. If I were in your situation, I would leave her and trust that she knows best.
  9. karlamaria

    karlamaria Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 30, 2011
    Western montana
    I was wondering, do you all have chickens that throw every bit of nesting out and lay eggs on the bare wood? my girls does, its got to be to cold for chicks right? Im going to let her stay in her nest, but Im going to put a lip on it so eggs do not roll out. this way they will be safe. I will watch closely and see when she has them. tell me, how many days does it take for a chicken to lay an egg? ( or 12)
  10. SteveBaz

    SteveBaz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 6, 2011
    Pacific North West
    Mommy just will not let that happen. When I was a kid my grandpa would find his hens would make nests in the weirdest places. On work benches in window sills around corners on the ground under a saw dust table with access to the hay bales to climb on any where up in the barn and the mommy will keep them reined in way better than you could ever do it.

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