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I need help formulating a plan

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Kimber, Apr 4, 2009.

  1. Kimber

    Kimber In the Brooder

    Jul 23, 2007
    SW Florida
    I'm looking for suggestions for makeshift next boxes.

    I had a small backyard flock, emphasis on small, last year. Well last spring two of my bantys went broody, TWICE each [​IMG] [​IMG] and now I have about 12 hens, and 2 roos, (had to gift 7 roos out to my neighbors).

    I have a small coop that has 2 nest boxes in the enclosed section, and I added another box out in the hardwire run, under cover.

    Well, now it seems I have THREE industrious little broodys on my hands all setting on the only three nest boxes I have.

    I do have a small a frame chick tractor we built that has 2 nest boxes up in the top but no way to seperate the two mommas and their babies.

    Now comes the challenge. I'm recovering from a major abdominal surgery, and can only walk a few feet hunched over, carring my drain, (sorry if it's TMI)

    I do have at my disposal, one 12 y/o ds and one 9y/o dd. DH is so busy helping to keep the household together I hate to ask him to do the chicken thing which he is not exactly fond of anyway.......[​IMG]

    I'm still on pain medication and my brain is a bit foggy, so I hope this post isn't too confusing...

    I'm looking for ideas (that we can manage at this time) on how to seperate these 3 mommas from the rest of the flock so that when the babies hatch the mommas won't be fighting between themselves or hte rest of the flock.

    I also need a place for the other working girls to leave thier eggs...

    Hopefully, none of the other hens will get the urge to momma!


  2. CityClucks

    CityClucks The Center of a 50 Mile Radius

    Jan 31, 2009
    Tulsa, OK
    Shucks. I thought you needed help formulating an EVIL plan to take over the WORLD! If that was the case, I'm IN!

    But, as for nest boxes: Sounds like you need something fast and simple. Some on here have built some great nest boxes out of plastic buckets. And a small pet carrier will also work great to keep a broody quarantined or for regular egg laying. I infer from your post that your hens are banties, but these will work for LF (large fowl) as well. Check out this link - scroll through the pages for more photos.

    I hope this helps, and I wish you speedy recovery and ongoing health!
  3. Kimber

    Kimber In the Brooder

    Jul 23, 2007
    SW Florida
    Quote:That was funny!!! I'm not supposed to laugh or I'll split my stiches..LOL

    That's a great idea for the nesting, but should I keep them seperate from each other when the eggs hatch out?

    Two of the hens are bantys, and one is a cross from an americauna roo and cochin banty hen, and she is about standard size.

    I was really surpised to see her go broody. Hope she'll stick it out till they hatch.
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2009
  4. CityClucks

    CityClucks The Center of a 50 Mile Radius

    Jan 31, 2009
    Tulsa, OK
    I would keep them separate for a week or 10 days after they hatch if possible. That way momma can focus on raising the babies and not stress over curious flock-mates getting too close. Keep us posted on your broodies' progress!
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2009
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    I see that Cityclucks has already responded so I won't talk about the buckets. That was my first thought for more nests.

    I don't know how much room you have. If mama has enough room, she can protect her babies from the rest of the flock so you do not have to separate a hen and chicks from the others. If your space is tight, that becomes another issue. I can't give you any hard and fast rules for this. If the chicks are always within striking distance of another chicken, they are at risk. The risk decreases with separation from the rest. Hope that makes sense.

    I don't know how many eggs are under your three broodies and even if I did, I would not know how many would hatch. I also don't know the the difference in when they started setting, that is, what will be the difference in the chick's age. I trust you have the eggs marked and someone is checking under the broodies daily to remove any new eggs. You can have serious problems if you are not. I was doing that by age 9 so I'm sure your kids can manage.

    There is a chance that, after the hatch, the hens will fight and one will try to take over all the chicks. It is also possible that they will leave each other alone or that they will co-parent. You never know. If one does try to take all the chicks and she can handle that many (keep them warm at night) my recommendation is to let her. Take the other hen away, put her in chicken prison until she is no longer broody, and let the first hen raise them.

    And if another hen goes broody, I recommend you break her from being broody and don't let her hatch any more chicks, at least until you are back on your feet.

    Good luck on your recovery.
  6. KatyTheChickenLady

    KatyTheChickenLady Bird of A Different Feather

    Dec 20, 2008
    Boise, Idaho
    Heres wishes for you feeling better soon. I bet your kids have floating around the house the colored plastic "milk crates" like you get at target, those would make great set up anywhere nest boxes.
  7. Kimber

    Kimber In the Brooder

    Jul 23, 2007
    SW Florida
    Thanks ya'll

    There are 6-8 eggs under two of the bantys and I think, according to my son.. and he dosen't know how many under the standard as she is not too keen on him inspecting!!! LOL

    They all started setting at the same time or at least a day apart from each other

    I've had the eggs marked under the bantys

    All 14 chickens are under a 12x14 hardwire coverd run, (actually under my kids treehouse, and there is an 8x4 enclosed roost with 2 nests within the covered run.

    There are pleanty of roosts in the run area as well.

    The chickens are free ranged so I leave the door to the run open all day until they come into roost, then we close em up.

    I may be able to have ds seperate an area of the 'under roof run' so that the others can come and go and the mammas can sit on their nests.

    The other idea is to put them into the seperate aframe tractor and hope the won't fight when the babies are hatched....

    It would break my heart to take babies away from one momma after she did the hard work of hatching them out....but I guess I need to learn to do what's best for hte whole flock.

    In the meantime I'm going to have my kids set out some buckets on their sides ....that's a great idea.

  8. littlelemon

    littlelemon Songster

    Mar 15, 2007
    I use covered kitty litter boxes as next boxes. They work great and are so easy to clean! Plus, if you can't bend over to collect the eggs you can just grab the handle and lift the box up. Or I guess your kids could do it for you [​IMG]
    Best wishes on your recovery!

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