How to let a broody hen raise chicks?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Chic Rustler, Feb 27, 2017.

  1. Chic Rustler

    Chic Rustler Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Guys this may be a silly question, but im completely new at this. How do you deal with a broody hen? If i happen to find one sitting on eggs in her nest box can she be moved to a different location and more eggs added? My nest boxes are all 18 inches off the ground and i dont know if a chick could make the jump.



    Do they need to be separated from the flock? A small run with in the run? Any information would be helpful. I hope to find ine of my hens are broody and to let her raise the chicks
     
  2. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

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    Ask 10 poultry keepers these questions and you'll get 11 different answers -- that's because there really is no one right way to approach this. Some folks will move the broody and her nest to an isolated location entirely separate from the flock, some folks will partition off an area within the coop for the broody, and her resulting chicks, to be in until such time the chicks are ready to be integrated into the flock and still others (myself included) let our broodies set, hatch and raise her chicks right in the coop/flock -- within that last group there are those who let her set where she chooses, and those that will relocate her to a different nest (ie a tub on the foor) out of an additional measure of safety for the chicks. Provided the floor is well bedded, chicks can leap from a surprising height and walk away like it was nothing (you should see videos of wood duck babies leaving the nest for the first time if you want to really see something).
    It is really going to depend on your setup, the personalities within your flock, the hen's mothering instinct (some fail to protect their chicks from the rest of the flock, others are overly protective and create a major disruption to everyone), etc. I would suggest doing a lot of reading of posts from folks in the broody hen threads, see what they do, decide which method sounds like the best fit for you and then if/when the time comes try that - if it doesn't work, try something else.
     
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  3. CP Chicken

    CP Chicken Crazy about Turkens

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    You should probably move the broody hen and her eggs to a separate enclosure so that other chickens cannot bother her, and also there is a possibility that the other chickens could kill the chicks once they hatch (even if it's on accident) by stepping on them, mistaking them for another creature, etc.It is okay to add more eggs as long as she hasn't been sitting on the current ones for too long because when those chicks from the first eggs hatch, the hen will ignore any left over eggs that are taking too long to hatch (even if they are developing) so that she can tend to the chicks that did hatch. Typically the broody hen will continue to sit on any left over eggs for a few days after the first chick hatched.
     
  4. Chic Rustler

    Chic Rustler Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a little dog house that i put in the run and have a small fence around. I have been using this to keep younger chics separate for a couple weeks before letting them in the flock. If i move a hen and eggs there would she still sit and do her job?
     
  5. Chic Rustler

    Chic Rustler Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG]


    Would this work?
     
  6. ChickenChaser9

    ChickenChaser9 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It could work. Not particularly secure but if there is fresh bedding to nest on then it should at least be functional for your minimum requirements.
     
  7. CP Chicken

    CP Chicken Crazy about Turkens

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    You might want something to block the opening of the dog house because remember that a predator might come and steal the eggs.
     
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  8. Chic Rustler

    Chic Rustler Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It would have to make it past my pitbull and threw the welded wire fence and then threw the fence around the dog house
     
  9. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

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    Many predators have no issue going through openings the size in both the welded wire fence and the fence around the dog house. Ultimately, though, if you feel secure or comfortable with the level of risk that's your call as they are your birds -- my previous run was not "ft knox worthy" as it was poultry netting over cattle panels which could have easily been breached by a predator, but I was aware and comfortable with the level of risk. Some folks are more comfortable with the risk of an occasional loss whereas others are aware they couldn't handle the loss of a single bird.
     
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  10. chicken pickin

    chicken pickin Overrun With Chickens

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    It would have to make it past my pitbull and threw the welded wire fence and then threw the fence around the dog house[/quote

    I also agree that you should go with what your comfortable as far as level of security. But be aware rats can get past all of that and take down the hen, eat the eggs or the chicks. Just happened to me, rats got a silkie hen last week right before lock up [​IMG]
     

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