In-Coop Brooder for Hoop House

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by lpyrbby, Sep 15, 2016.

  1. lpyrbby

    lpyrbby Chillin' With My Peeps

    I'm optimistic for this to be an "in-progress to completion" thread.

    I think I might have a hen going broody and I'm ecstatic over the idea. That possibility also means I need to get off my rear and get a brooding area ready just in case because I do NOT want a hen hogging a coveted nest box for her babies. My idea is that I'll give her 2 days of taking over a nest box, then move her to the broody area. If she's still broody after 2 days in there, then I'll give her eggs to hatch.

    So, here's the space, to the right in the photo:

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    I have a couple of spare puppy pens so I'm planning on using one there. I want to have the gate portion at the front and then run three panels deep to section that spot off, with an additional panel on the back wall to help stabilize the frame. That will leave me with three panels to use to attach to the top somehow to have a "lid" so I can access the entire brooder from the top. I'm thinking I'll secure the panels with zip ties to the hoop coop wire on the right, that's exposed to the outside. I'll need to add some bricks under the length of the panels to bring the pen up to the level of the hidden corner brace, that can't be seen in the photo. I don't need babies digging and finding their way under the panels.

    For the lid, I figure I can use the extra pen panels and hopefully zip tie them to the cattle panel that's just above the strip of wood. I am thinking about covering the lid with feed bags, somehow, to create a barrier both to minimize stray droppings from landing in the pen, and minimizing the impact of the other birds being nosy about the pen. Any thoughts on this?

    I have a couple of milk crates to choose from to create a nest box inside the broody area. I'll line with additional pine flakes and pine straw and will probably cover with a roof shingle to help make it cozier. I'm also going to try to figure out a way to add some curtains to the box too. They seem to like their nest boxes and I want it to be as close to "home" as possible for whoever the lucky broody girl is.

    I want to also get a bale of something to put on the outside of the coop to help block the "open to the outside" part of the coop. Of straw and pine straw, which kind of bale would be better? With cold weather coming, it's something I plan on adding to the bottom portion of the coop as a whole, not just for the broody. Take note, I live in the south, so we don't get INSANE cold here, but it is a wet cold.

    I still have a couple of spare quart sized waterers to use inside the broody area. I'll have to craft another feeder, but that's not a big deal.

    Am I missing anything? Any additional thoughts to offer?
     
  2. lpyrbby

    lpyrbby Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oh! I'll also add some hardware cloth to the puppy pen wall, to minimize escapees :)
     
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Good plan.

    Make the nest roomy, bigger than milk crate, and so chicks can go in and out.....and of course sheltered from all drafts and rain.
    Broody needs enough space to get up and stretch her legs, have a bite and drink, and dump the proverbial 'huge broody turd'.
     
  4. lpyrbby

    lpyrbby Chillin' With My Peeps

    Done and done :)

    The milk crate I have is actually a larger one, compliments of Walmart. I'll make sure the drafts and rain are minimized as much as possible. She'll also have a good 3 ft or so in her broody area. I started on the hardware cloth on the pen tonight but abandoned it so I could go visit with the birds. She was in the box when I got home from work (early) but was out and about when I went for a visit, still doing her puffy thing at the others. I'll make sure she sets for a couple of days in the box before moving her to the brooder, then a couple days in the brooder before giving her actual eggs to hatch to hopefully make sure she's committed.

    I'll be sure to take photos :)

    In the meantime, here's a couple from when I saw her in the box today. I took the eggs she was sitting on (she didn't try to maim me) and gave her another fake egg.

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    The rest of the crew hustled in after finishing their treats, begging for more, and while all that was going on, she tucked the fakes back under her.

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    She's a great bird, so I REALLY hope she gets serious about this!
     
  5. amynrichie

    amynrichie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Move your hen and her fake eggs at dark. You may have to cover her space so it's more private like your nest box so she will stay the next day. Good luck!!!
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2016
  6. lpyrbby

    lpyrbby Chillin' With My Peeps

    That's my plan!

    It's going to be a bit of a pain with the roost in the way, but I can still get her from the outside nest box access and walk her back around to the inside of the coop. I'm definitely going to try to make it as dark and as welcoming as possible. I want her to do this! But also NOT spark the urge in the other ladies LOL
     
  7. lpyrbby

    lpyrbby Chillin' With My Peeps

    First things first, as long as I can catch them, I'm taking head roo and two of his ladies to my friend in the morning. I'm having mad anxiety about this collection I'll be trying in a few. I know that also means that Betty may forgo broody time. I'll be ready at least.

    Anyway, I worked on the pen today and save for actually putting it IN the coop, it's ready to go. I figure I'll wait until someone commits before causing a ruckus and putting it in the coop.

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    I wedged little pieces of wood in there to try to help it not bend.

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    Zip ties all over the place!

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    Proposed in-coop layout. The back will be against wood and the right side will be attached to the coop itself.

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    I figured the small gaps would be okay. I put the hardware cloth on the inside of the door so it wouldn't interfere with the latches. That means I also had to do some cutting so it would open lol

    [​IMG]

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    And the lid. Yeah, I used zip ties here as well since adding more wood would have made it heavier. It's at a manageable weight now.

    [​IMG]

    Feed bags lol

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    Sure, let's zip tie those too!

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    AND! It looks like I'll have enough room to tie one end up a little higher and still make contact with the pen to keep others out of it.

    [​IMG]

    For the hell of it, I put that crate in there to see what everyone thinks of it.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    You'll do fine catching the birds...wait til after dark, they are much easier to catch then.


    Good pics and build...it looks good....love the forethought and 'mockup'.

    That piece of wood to keep hinge/wall from bending?
    Rotate it 90 degrees so it goes across farther on each side of hinge line, and use two zipties - one on each end of wood.
    Maybe even a longer piece of wood, maybe even two pieces of wood one lower and one higher on wall.

    Might not need cage wall behind nest...would make cage bigger.
    Not sure you need that much feed bag coverage.....just all along hoop wall side, on top of broody cage, and maybe around the nest area.
    You want the flock to be able to see mama.... and the chicks when they come.

    You might want to hinge the top onto the hoop wall side, so you can lift it and get in there if you need to.
    How tall are the broody cage walls....can you step over them without... ahem, injury?
    Where will the top of the cage walls hit the hoop wall, will that create a gap due to straight cage walls meeting curved hoop wall?

    Just some thoughts.
     
  9. lpyrbby

    lpyrbby Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thanks!
     
    1 person likes this.

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