First time with a broody and so many questions!

Huntmaster

Crowing
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I haven’t created a nest for her yet, as an individual, if that’s what you mean. The current box is one of six that are all attached. It’s above ground (I didn’t know there were under ground ones!) and inside the coop. View attachment 2788138
@T P S didn't mean underground but nest at ground level. Looks like it is from pic.
 
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Huntmaster

Crowing
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Thanks so much, I’ll read those!
am I incorrect in assuming that a private/separate box will be outside of the pen that contains the rest of the flock and the coop? She’ll need shelter, of course, so she needs to be indoors of some type of structure. I have a feeling I’m overthinking this.
Best option for private/ separate nesting/ brooding box is in coop if possible so hen and chicks are in a see but not touch situation from rest of flock . Reintroduction is much easier that way after a week or 2. But you can just leave them where they are if on ground level and others are leaving her alone and she stays on her nest. Biggest thing with that is others may lay eggs in her nest you need to mark her eggs she is laying on so you can remove any new ones that may be laid in her nest. That way you don't need separate feed and water your broody will go eat drink and restroom as she needs on her own. Only need to add chick starter after chicks are hatched. And yes there are many ways to handle it but you need to do what you are most comfortable with.
 
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EasterChickens

Chirping
Feb 20, 2021
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Best option for private/ separate nesting box is in coop if possible so hen and chicks are in a see but not touch situation from rest of flock . Reintroduction is much easier that way after a week or 2. But you can just leave them where they are if on ground level and others are leaving her alone and she stays on her nest. Biggest thing with that is others may lay eggs in her nest you need to mark her eggs she is laying on so you can remove any new ones that may be laid in her nest. That way you don't need separate feed and water your broody will go eat drink and restroom as she needs on her own. Only need to add chick starter after chicks are hatched. And yes there are many ways to handle it but you need to do what you are most comfortable with.
Oh yeah! Thats another way too, you can put it in a separate brooding coop. I do like having an own feeder/waterer for the broody and her chicks my-self because the chicks can eat the starter feed together in a separate feed container and people say that when the hen is broody she doesn't need that much of the calcium (I think or some type of ingredient to build the shells for her eggs) and so she can just eat the starter feed with her chicks from what I heard.
 

TheMrsChick

Chirping
May 1, 2021
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Best option for private/ separate nesting box is in coop if possible so hen and chicks are in a see but not touch situation from rest of flock . Reintroduction is much easier that way after a week or 2. But you can just leave them where they are if on ground level and others are leaving her alone and she stays on her nest. Biggest thing with that is others may lay eggs in her nest you need to mark her eggs she is laying on so you can remove any new ones that may be laid in her nest. That way you don't need separate feed and water your broody will go eat drink and restroom as she needs on her own. Only need to add chick starter after chicks are hatched. And yes there are many ways to handle it but you need to do what you are most comfortable with.
Agh. Of course, I want to do what is the best option. I'll have to get to work on an in-pen separate coop type structure... gets my creative side flowing so I'm all for it. The nesting box she currently resides in is 18" (ish) off the ground so not exactly ground level. Is that something that needs to happen ASAP, a nesting box on the ground? Would she even be interested in switching boxes? She seems to be getting out of the box once a day, for 15-20 minutes and, luckily, it's later in the day when nobody else is laying so there hasn't been any new egg additions to that box but I'll continue to check and mark her current overflowing nest of 3 😜. I do know I'll have to provide chick starter and water for her and the chicks if any make it to hatch.
 

TheMrsChick

Chirping
May 1, 2021
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Oh yeah! Thats another way too, you can put it in a separate brooding coop. I do like having an own feeder/waterer for the broody and her chicks my-self because the chicks can eat the starter feed together in a separate feed container and people say that when the hen is broody she doesn't need that much of the calcium (I think or some type of ingredient to build the shells for her eggs) and so she can just eat the starter feed with her chicks from what I heard.
Yes! I've read the same thing! I think my trepidation comes from integrating new chicks into the flock in the past and it was extremely stressful, I'm just trying to avoid that. But if it's not what is best for the bunch, then obviously it is not the way to go!
 

TheMrsChick

Chirping
May 1, 2021
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Nope, you are correct!! You can put the private/separate box in a shed, or even a garage. Don't put the box outside. Just remember to keep the private box pretty dim (since hens tend to like darker locations to lay eggs or even when they want to brood, so don't put a light in her box)🤣

PLEASE READ VERY IMPORTANT: I'm not sure if you know this yet, BUT since you are going to create her a private box your going to want to move her from the old location to the new private location. And so how are you going to do that?? Well the best way that chicken owners have done it, is to move her at night not in the day because this is when she cannot really see anything and is more unbothered at night. So your going to start of with sneaking all of her eggs from her first (try not to use a flashlight while your removing the eggs from her). Then properly put her eggs into the new private box. Return back, and carry her up from her old location to her new private location AND PLACE HER DIRECTLY ON TOP OF THE EGGS. After you have done that, leave her alone and check back on her on the next day and see if she accepts the new location. Most of the time the hens will accept the new private location and sit back on the eggs. However, in some cases hens will abandon their eggs and try to move back to the previous/old location. (pretty rare though)

Before you do any of this, make sure to set up everything she needs in her private box (water bowl of her own, feeder of her own, her nest box, and bedding etc..)
You are an angel! Thank you so much for the tips!
 

Huntmaster

Crowing
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Is that something that needs to happen ASAP, a nesting box on the ground? Would she even be interested in switching boxes?
No , and it sometimes can be hard to move hen that is already sitting on eggs they sometimes don't sit back on eggs right away. You can get brooder pen ready and move her and chicks into it when they hatch if things don't seem to be going well with leaving them with flock. Looks like you have nest boxes that have raised front and backs so hatchlings cant fall out. They should be ok in there till all hatched then move them down to floor level either with flock or see but cant touch brooder pen in coop. Dog crates or carriers are a easy way to start for brooder pens in coop so you don't have to build anything. Just a few modifications to keep chicks from getting through bars and keep others from pecking at them from outside but can still see them and get used to them. Much easier when reintroduction to flock
 
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TheMrsChick

Chirping
May 1, 2021
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147
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No , and it sometimes can be hard to move hen that is already sitting on eggs they sometimes don't sit back on eggs right away. You can get brooder pen ready and move her and chicks into it when they hatch if things don't seem to be going well with leaving them with flock. Looks like you have nest boxes that have raised front and backs so hatchlings cant fall out. They should be ok in there till all hatched then move them down to floor level either with flock or see but cant touch brooder pen in coop.
Gosh. I can’t even express how grateful I am to you for your help!! I could cry!
 

EasterChickens

Chirping
Feb 20, 2021
128
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91
Yes! I've read the same thing! I think my trepidation comes from integrating new chicks into the flock in the past and it was extremely stressful, I'm just trying to avoid that. But if it's not what is best for the bunch, then obviously it is not the way to go!
Yeah!! I think it's better if you create her a coop with a run like what @Huntmaster said because that will enable her to still keep in contact with the other chickens in the flock while she is taking a break in the coop's run. The other way I showed you was more of a beginner way/simpler way but both will work fine they just have pros and cons. You do what you find better for you and your chickens
 

TheMrsChick

Chirping
May 1, 2021
62
147
86
Lightbulb moment. What if I built an area under their roost bars for this purpose, exactly? As you can see in my very advanced sketch attached, the lime green box with chicken wire attached to show what I’m talking about. 😂
or is this not enough space? Goodness. This is quite overwhelming.
 

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