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Letting a hen be Broody

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by AKMomma, Mar 9, 2012.

  1. AKMomma

    AKMomma New Egg

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    Aug 17, 2011
    Chugiak, AK
    Hi All,

    I have a broody hen, and I finally decided to let her keep 5 eggs this week. I have a long nesting box in the coop - fits 2 hens. I'm new to raising chickens, but I'd like to let her do her thing and hatch some eggs. Is it okay to allow her to stay put for the next few weeks until the eggs (hopefully) hatch? We raised our current flock from day-old chicks in a dog crate in the garage - I still have the set up in the garage. So, my question is should I move her to the dog crate in the garage, or allow her to stay put in the coop with the other birds and then move the chicks to the garage if the eggs do hatch? I haven't had any cracking eggs, but its only been 2-3 days that I've let her keep the eggs instead of taking them. I'll be removing any unmarked eggs from the nesting box from now on.

    Thanks in advance for the advice.

    Char
     
  2. Silkie Chick

    Silkie Chick Chillin' With My Peeps

    I would keep her in the nest box in the coop so long as it is on the ground (you don't want the chicks falling out when they hatch). We have always let our chicken mothers stay in the coop to hatch and rear the chicks, that way you don't have to worry about re-introducing a hen back into the flock. Besides if you keep her in her normal surroundings she will be less stressed.
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. AKMomma

    AKMomma New Egg

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    Aug 17, 2011
    Chugiak, AK
    The nesting box is deep and filled with straw about 1/2 way up - maybe 2 feet or so off the ground. All 7 of my hens share the nesting box - so far there hasn't been any issues with laying. I think I'll separate the chicks when they're born b/c our coop isn't large enough to sequester an area just for them, and I'm concerned that the other hens or our roosters will be too aggressive with them, and then I'll introduce them into the coop when they outgrow the dog crate (I know, stressful to introduce new birds into the coop later on). That's my rationale for moving them into the garage - unless someone has any advice to the contrary.
     
  4. Silkie Chick

    Silkie Chick Chillin' With My Peeps

    We let our hens just raise their chicks right on the floor of the coop with everyone else. Our roos have always been well mannered toward the little ones and will try to show them where the food is if their momma is pre-occupied. We once tried to put a hen in a crate and she really freaked out, but maybe it was just because she was claustrophobic. I think you might want to try and use a cardboard box on the ground or place her eggs in a corner, so she can easily get out and come back.
     
  5. AKMomma

    AKMomma New Egg

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    Aug 17, 2011
    Chugiak, AK
    Something to think about....I have a covered cat litter box I could move into the coop that she could use. I am concerned about the roosters being too aggressive with the chicks - we have 5 of them, I think I need to cull about 2-3 at least (unrelated side note) due to the excess testosterone flying around at times [​IMG]
     

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