Looks łike I have a new Broody!!

L1sa

Songster
Jan 25, 2017
432
1,001
211
South Australia
So My flock currently consists of 2 old girls (ISA Browns) 2 10 month old (Plymouth Barred Rock) and 4 chicks (4 weeks old).

So one of the BR (Doris) went broody about 2 months ago and I allowed her to hatch! So she's still mumming her 4 chicks. Last night when I went to check on them I noticed her sister (Rosie) sitting in the nest box, I kind of thought "she's in bed early" and let it go. Well went out there when I got home from work tonight there she was again and all fluffed up!!!!

Hahahaha! I got myself another broody! :clap:clap:celebrate

It makes me happy as I had to euthanise one of my old girls on Monday and I was so sad.

I wasn't expecting to have another broody quite so soon after my last one. So here starts the search for some fertilised eggs again. It appears hatching in all forms is addictive!!
 

Shadrach

Roosterist
Jul 31, 2018
17,601
137,571
1,582
Catalonia, Spain
My Coop
My Coop
So My flock currently consists of 2 old girls (ISA Browns) 2 10 month old (Plymouth Barred Rock) and 4 chicks (4 weeks old).

So one of the BR (Doris) went broody about 2 months ago and I allowed her to hatch! So she's still mumming her 4 chicks. Last night when I went to check on them I noticed her sister (Rosie) sitting in the nest box, I kind of thought "she's in bed early" and let it go. Well went out there when I got home from work tonight there she was again and all fluffed up!!!!

Hahahaha! I got myself another broody! :clap:clap:celebrate

It makes me happy as I had to euthanise one of my old girls on Monday and I was so sad.

I wasn't expecting to have another broody quite so soon after my last one. So here starts the search for some fertilised eggs again. It appears hatching in all forms is addictive!!
it's a nightmare here. Once one starts they all want to have a go.
:barnie
 

L1sa

Songster
Jan 25, 2017
432
1,001
211
South Australia
@Shadrach. I'm going to attempt to give my girl a more natural nest, like the one you describe in your article. My broody coop is raised off the ground, do you think it would work if I put down a waterproof membrane on the wooden base and then added soil/straw/turf?

What would you recommend?

Thanks
 

Shadrach

Roosterist
Jul 31, 2018
17,601
137,571
1,582
Catalonia, Spain
My Coop
My Coop
@Shadrach. I'm going to attempt to give my girl a more natural nest, like the one you describe in your article. My broody coop is raised off the ground, do you think it would work if I put down a waterproof membrane on the wooden base and then added soil/straw/turf?

What would you recommend?

Thanks
It’s quite difficult to do in a coop. I’m still struggling with ideas for this.
I can tell you the problems I’ve had, but not give outright solutions because circumstances differ.
The easiest option for me using a nesting box in a coop has been hard packed grass straw. Ours comes in bales and the baler compresses the straw. I’ve used sections of this but you need 4 to 6 inches of depth I’ve found and that means the front lip of the nest box needs to be this height. The hen can still scratch out a hollow without reaching the hard base.
The important thing seems to be getting the hollow to keep its shape.
It’s the shape that gives the hen better ability to control the orientation of her eggs.
The problem with clods of earth is in a nest box in a coop the earth dries out very quickly and the hollow collapses.
Then there is the weight of the soil in the nest box. many people have nest boxes attached to a wall of the coop and the extra weight of the soil may be too much for the construction to cope with.
I think, if I was to use a nest box in a coop now for a sitting hen I would make a nest box with a removable lid. Instead of having an open front, or a front with a lip, I would use a sheet of material and cut a hole in it. The hole center would be in the middle of the sheet and be just big enough for the hen to squeeze through. I suppose for an average hen the box would be around 16 inches tall and the hole center is then 8 inches from the base. If the hole in the front is 8 inches diameter then this leaves 4 inches at the base in which to pack the straw. Because of the hole, it’s not so easy for the hen to scratch the straw out.
A further problem with this is once the chicks hatch they can often follow mum out of the nest box, but can’t make the jump to get back in. I made a ramp for the newly hatched chicks.
One of the reasons I like the system I’ve outlined in the article is the chicks have almost immediate access to ‘natural’ ground and mum can start to teach them to scratch early while still having some protection in the run.
My view is, the quicker the chicks and mum can get into the environment in which they are going to have to survive the better.
If you are planning on letting broody hens sit and hatch in the future then I would consider making a coop similar to that in the article.
There are still problems. A problem I will face next year is not all the hens will make nests in the nesting coop I’ve made. My understanding is from the various papers I’ve read, once the hen has sat and organised her eggs the first few days of the orientation of the eggs has considerable bearing on the success rate of the hatch. I have not managed to test this for myself.
Once a hen here does sit, I don’t touch the eggs if I can possibly avoid it.
Eggs are porous and any bacteria I may have on my hands can in theory get transfered into the egg. Then there is the risk of breakages and not returning the eggs to their correct positions. What I will try is to make the nest boxes in the coops a size that I can pick up and slot into the isolation coop shown in the article without disturbing the hen or eggs.

Bear in mind that chickens are extraordinarily adaptable and many sit and hatch their eggs in all sorts of different circumstances. I’ve had hens hatch eggs here in nest boxes with hard bases many times. I became interested in broody hatching and looked for the best option I could come up with. For many it isn’t necessary, or practicable.
Try the hole front box idea with packed straw would be my advice and see how that goes.
I hope this helps. Good luck.
 

L1sa

Songster
Jan 25, 2017
432
1,001
211
South Australia
Just thought I'd update you @Shadrach on the way I decided to prepare my broody coop.

The interior of the coop measures 2ft x 2ft and after pulling out the base tray (which is removable) I discovered it was a metal tray with a wood surround, not ideal footing for a chicken to nest on. So I cut a bathroom towel to size and stapled it relatively taught to the wooden surround to completely cover the base and replaced it in the coop. I then packed it quite tightly with straw. Now with the traction that the towel provides, the straw doesn't move at all, and she has managed to create a beautiful little well to house her collection of eggs and looks so much more comfortable than my last poor broody.

Not as natural a nest as I would have liked, but a HUGE improvement on my last one.

Thanks for your words of advice.
 

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