How much room for a broody and her chicks?

happyhens

Songster
12 Years
Jan 30, 2007
443
1
161
KY
I need to build a couple of maternity pens, how big do they need to be? They will brood in there, and raise their chicks in it until the chicks are big enough to mix with the main flock. I expect most of the broody hens to be bantams. They will probably have anywhere from 1 or 2 chicks to, say, a dozen. Standard and bantam chicks. I do have some "scrap" rabbit cages, they are 3' x 30" x 18" H. Would these be big enough? They are too rusty to keep rabbits in, but should work just fine for chickens.
 

Josie

Songster
12 Years
Jan 3, 2008
867
0
149
California
I am just answering so that someone can correct me, but that seems fine.
I have seen smaller brooders. Are the rabbit cages the kind you can move around over fresh areas of grass? Is your broody a bantam or a standard?

(Disclaimer: Now keep in mind I have never raised chicks using a broody hen, hatched using a broody, or even had a hen go broody.)
 

raindrop

Songster
11 Years
Feb 10, 2008
712
12
151
Western Oregon
The rabbit cages sound fine for the first week or so. I have always just let the broody hen out with the flock in the run or to free range after a week or so, they take care of the chicks and won't let the other chickens hurt them. Broody hens are fierce!
 

Marlinchaser

Songster
12 Years
Oct 18, 2007
4,943
23
231
MERRY LAND
My broodie was quick to want to get back with the flock, so I have a pen just for the teenagers, till they are big enough to hold thier own. Right now they are 8 weeks +/- and get picked on by the banties, so I would give them time to grow, mom will not protect them forever. But till SHE is ready to leave them anyone else better leave her babies alone.
 

happyhens

Songster
12 Years
Jan 30, 2007
443
1
161
KY
Quote:Yep, I can move them easily. They are all-wire, I am planning to cover with feed sacks or cardboard to protect them from drafts. I expect most or all of my broodies to be bantams (bantam cochins, silkies, and OEGB) but I do have half a dozen Buff Orpingtons, so a couple of them may go broody. I guess I could cut the sides out of a couple of them and wire them securely together to make a bigger area if needed, it would be 6' long, and 30"wide, instead of 3' long. It would look a little weird, but it would probably be better...
 

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