How will baby chicks get down from the nest?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Triplecross, Oct 19, 2013.

  1. Triplecross

    Triplecross Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have my first ever broody hen sitting on 5 eggs. I'm so excited!

    My wonder is how will they get to the floor and follow momma once they hatch? Right now the broody hen is in one of the nest boxes where my hens have always laid eggs. It's at the standard height that nest boxes are supposed to be (2 and 1/2 feet? I don't remember, I built the coop years ago.)

    Does anyone else have broodies go in the nest boxes? Or am I supposed to put a nest on the floor of the coop for broody types?

    Thanks for any replies!
     
  2. Cowgirl212

    Cowgirl212 Out Of The Brooder

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    I just had my first broody experience. My nest boxes were along the floor though. I've seen that most people move the nest to seclusion, at a lower level or make a ramp to it. I had planned on keeping my broody in the house along with all the other chickens, however this changed once the 1st chick hatched. The chick wondered away from the nest and I found the broody sitting on it away from the other eggs. She couldn't of been gone for long because the eggs were still fairly warm. I placed the chick back by the eggs and she went right back to sitting. So that's when I decided that placing them in a cage by themselves would be best, and 3 days later the 2nd chick hatched! I had duck eggs I placed under her to that hatched 5 days later and she refused them..but that's a different story. Anyways my advise is to leave her alone for now, once it gets closer to hatch time I would recommend moving her down, or separate her if you can, so you don't have to worry about chicks falling out and her going to their rescue and leaving the rest of the eggs. Through my experience this worked best for me. Good Luck!
     
  3. BCMaraniac

    BCMaraniac Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My nesting boxes are a little bit lower than that I think, but my broody got out of the nesting box, and the chicks got out on the ledge in front of the nesting box, flapped their little wings and jumped down to the floor behind her, seemingly without fear. Mama did make a spot in the floor of the house where she would bed down with them at night for the first week or so, until they could get back into the nesting box with her.
     
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    I’ve seen a broody get chicks down from a 10’ high hay loft. Mama says jump and they do. When they land, they run to her. 2 or 2-1/2 feet is not a big deal to them.

    I had a problem with a chick falling from the nest one time. I had a very low lip on that nest. I’ve never had a problem with that with a decent lip on the nest.
     
  5. Triplecross

    Triplecross Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you for the responses. I am thinking of putting a bale of hay under the nest box to help break the fall if they get out. I'm am concerned that she will abandon the eggs if I relocate her and nest so I probably won't move her. Maybe once the chicks hatch I will move them.
     
  6. BCMaraniac

    BCMaraniac Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The broody I referenced earlier started out in my main hen house in one of the nesting boxes. This stressed the others so much that they started laying outside the nesting box or would run her out of the prime box and lay eggs on top of hers then she would get back on her ever growing clutch. So I tried to move her, putting her initially in a kennel cage inside a pen in my barn. She wouldn't stay on the eggs even though she was locked up with them, and as soon I opened the door, she flew the coop, and went back to the original house and box. So I moved her to a house with an identical layout, put 4 eggs in each nesting box so she could choose her clutch, and locked her up in there overnight. The next morning she had chosen, so I removed the other eggs. Since the house was well ventilated, I opted to leave her closed in the house which has a skylight in the top, leaving food and water inside.

    I definitely understand not wanting to move her, because I have twice had them leave their eggs when moved. The first time it happened was with a broody who chose a nesting box. When we moved her at night and put her and her eggs in a nice pen, the next morning she had chosen another spot and left her eggs behind. I had to put new eggs under her and start over. I took a cardboard apple box, cut a opening for a door in one end so she could exit if she wanted, and just sat it over her so she would have a dark quiet place. So she incubated her eggs on the ground, hatching 11/11 eggs and raising 9 chicks(one died for no apparent reason, and one got suffocated on a cool night, I think, because we found the dead chick in the bedding the next morning.

    I love broody raised chicks, no heat lamps, no pasty butt, no sick ones. Proof that Mama does it best! My only problem with broody hens has been the very first hen who raised the 9 babies disappeared 2 weeks after leaving her first brood, and we found her 10 days later on another clutch. She was in a safe place just outside the barn where she had incubated her first brood(I think she knew the barn was where she was supposed to be), so we left her there because we could watch her. A few days later, she was at the back barn door sporting 4 new baby chicks, which she still hasn't left, even though she has integrated them with the rest of the flock. I had to separate her from the first brood, and I am thinking I may have to do it again. I think she likes being a Mom, but two broods in one summer is a bit much....She is a BCM, who are described as "frequent, sometimes too frequent", brooders. She is living up to their reputation. The other broody is a BCM too.
     
  7. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    They'll have no problem getting out, but getting back in will be problematic. She'll likely just brood them on the ground once the hatch is done and they all leave.

    I just have all my nest boxes on the ground, for this reason.
     
  8. MaggiesOrganic

    MaggiesOrganic Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks for this thread! I have two broody hens and I am allowing them to sit on their eggs starting tomorrow. I have been worried about how the chicks will get down, and now I can rest a little easier!! These will be our first natural hatched chicks, and I am so EGGcited!!
     
  9. Phoenixxx

    Phoenixxx Chillin' With My Peeps

    My broody's chosen nest is 5' off the ground. So, as long as I provide a soft landing, the babies will be fine? One of the roosts ties in with that nest shelf and there's a roost below to hop down to on the way to the ground.
     

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