Nesting boxes - broody hens - dumb question?

chickenbritt5908

Chirping
Nov 20, 2019
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69
Oklahoma
It just occurred to me that I have a couple different girls that are likely to become broody. They’re still pullets until Summer but my question is about my nesting boxes - just in case one or two do happen to wanna be mamas. I have 12 boxes that are stacked and off the ground. If someone were to go broody and hatched eggs in one, or any really, of the boxes, isn’t there potential of a chick being hurt by falling to the ground? And then impossible for a little one to get back up to the nest. Should I put some on the ground or just move a hen if and when she becomes broody?
 

CluckNDoodle

Hatchaholic
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Jan 12, 2019
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I would move the broody to a low box or to a broody pen if she decides to go broody in a high box. Some broodies get attached to their selected box and no matter how hard you try, they will go back to their originally selected box, even if the eggs are no longer there. Most of the time they will settle in to their new spot, given a little time, but I have seen where people have gotten very crafty to allow their broody to stay in their preferred box and prevent chicks from falling out.
I also recommend moving the broody early, or before she's sitting on fertilized eggs so that if the move does happen to break her broodiness there won't be heart break for you.
 

chickenbritt5908

Chirping
Nov 20, 2019
32
65
69
Oklahoma
I would move the broody to a low box or to a broody pen if she decides to go broody in a high box. Some broodies get attached to their selected box and no matter how hard you try, they will go back to their originally selected box, even if the eggs are no longer there. Most of the time they will settle in to their new spot, given a little time, but I have seen where people have gotten very crafty to allow their broody to stay in their preferred box and prevent chicks from falling out.
I also recommend moving the broody early, or before she's sitting on fertilized eggs so that if the move does happen to break her broodiness there won't be heart break for you.

Okay. I figured about as much but just wasn’t sure! I’ve not ever dealt with a broody hen as of yet. Thank you!
 

CluckNDoodle

Hatchaholic
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Jan 12, 2019
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Okay. I figured about as much but just wasn’t sure! I’ve not ever dealt with a broody hen as of yet. Thank you!
I love my broody hens! Watching hens with little chicks running behind them is the cutest thing ever! It's always a bit nerve wracking when you have a new broody because you just won't know if they're a good broody until you've allowed them to hatch chicks. I've had many broodies but only a couple that won't be allowed to hatch chicks anymore. Once a hen proves to be a good broody it's really likely that she will always be a good broody, but the opposite is also true, a broody that proves to be unreliable will not be given a second chance to hatch chicks in my flock.
 

BDutch

Crowing
May 19, 2015
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Wow. 12 nestboxes
How many pullets do you have? Are you planning on buying one or 2roosters?

Having broodies in a coop with other chickens is not easy. Other chickens want to join the broody, lay more eggs in the nestbox, ore even take over the process of hatching the eggs. I have better experiences with broodies in a seperated small nesting coop and seperate run for little chicks.

What I do (again) next time when I want to have a broody: I lay 5 fake eggs in the nestbox of my choice. Preferably in spring. And within a week or two I have a broody. After that I give her (or maybe 2 broodies) the fertile eggs of my choice.
 

igorsMistress

In the middle
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6 Years
Apr 9, 2013
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I had a broody is a nest box about a foot off the ground. Once the babies were out she made a nest on the floor and was teaching the chicks to use the ramp to the roost at a very young age. As long as it's not too high and you have space on the floor they'll be fine.
 

BDutch

Crowing
May 19, 2015
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This was my setup with 2 broodies that did a great job in harmony. I had 5 chicks this year.

I put the portable secondhand nestbox on the ground when the chicks hatched.
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00DBB92E-29B2-43CD-AD72-CB08B1BCD0FD.jpeg

The chickens have a bowl with marbles for water. First days in the nestbox, later outside.

After approx. a week I put the nestbox off the ground (40 cm) with an easy to walk on and broad board. At bedtime the mothers went in first, calling the chicks and after a while they all went up. I wanted to be sure the chicks understood where they have to go.
 

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