I'm on vacation and my broody chicken had babies!

Seven Sisters

9 Years
Oct 19, 2010
I am currently in Connecticut, and my broody hen has had babies in Virginia. I thought they were goners since she hadn't sit on them for several hours one chilly day and the eggs were completely cold to the touch. I was trying to get ready to leave, rushing around and thought they'd be okay until we got back either way and either hatch or get tossed. My math was way off, and the eggs were far less goners than I thought.

My mother has been caring for the chickens, but right now the set up is as follows: all chickens are in a (relatively) large coop, with outdoor run access during the day. The broody hen (and her now two babies) are not isolated, but the eggs were marked and everyday the non-hatching eggs were being gathering. There is no chick food in the coop, and the water concerns me as it's a large three gallon waterer.

My mom has access to a large dog crate, and my dad is getting chick food in the am. Would it be beneficial to put the mama hen and the babies into the dog crate with a chick-safe waterer and chick food? The babies will be able to slip right between the bars, but I'm thinking they won't go far without their mama. If they do, and then end up going outside through the pop door, they are likely to be cat food either way as the run will not contain them.

If they do stay near their mom inside the crate though I think things will be okay.

I'm trying to organize this all over the phone, as I honestly had no idea this would happen and especially not so soon. I must have not gathered the fertile eggs when I thought I did because I was almost positive I'd at least get back home before they hatched, if they hatched at all.

Suggestions would be appreciated. I only wish so much I were at home


10 Years
Sep 6, 2009
Le Roy, NY
All I can say is...my broody hatched today in a dog crate I moved her into before "lockdown". I covered the bottom of the crate with old towels so they don't escape out the crate and get cold. I vote for the dog crate!


12 Years
Apr 14, 2010
Colorado Springs, Colorado
I had to move my babies into a dog crate with the mom because my other hens tried to eat the babies.
YIKES! I put their special chick food into the crate and a small chick waterer. I did keep the door open only a brick width. My broody hen is a silkie so she could get in and out. I did not have a heat lamp.

When they were a few weeks old, the chicks would run in and out of the metal bars of the dog kennel. When they were fully feathered, I left the crate door open full time and mama hen did a great job teaching them how to be chickens.

It will all work out. You won't be on vacation forever.

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