Net box/Broody box ideas


May 8, 2015
Hi I was wondering if anyone had any good ideas for a nest box for a broody hen to sit in and incubate the eggs. We r making ours out of wood, like a normal best box, and I was wondering if that was a good idea. Should I use something else? Should I make it differently than a normal nest box?

And I know that it has to be on the ground. Obviously if its not the chicks could fall out when they hatch.

Lol I just realized that in the title, instead of nest box, I put net box!! Oops! Please ignore my spelling error lol!
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Welcome to our forum!

You need an area large enough for the hen to get off the nest and walk a few steps, where she should also poop. (You dont want her to poop in the nest.) Food and water need to be away from the nest, to encourage her to take a few steps each day. Ideally it will also be predator proof. In other words, sort of a one hen coop or roof and a couple of walls, with a tiny outdoor run, even one or two sq ft is enough.

That's all assuming you decide to let her incubate separate from the rest of the flock. There are advantages to this, but many people just leave them in with the flock -- which may or may not work out well.

Actually, you dont need to wory about the height of the box. Not that long ago, hens often hatched their chicks in the hay loft of a barn, then jumped to the barn floor after a day or two. Of course, they couldn't get back up, but the mama just made a nest wherever she was or wherever the chicks gathered under her. The mama might then take them to join the flock, where she will have to protect the chicks from any aggressive hens, but also where the chicks can become integrated into the flock at a young age.

My personal preference is to separate during incubation then allow the mama and brand new chicks to join the flock, which they will try to do in a day or two after hatch. Here are a couple of links that I hope you will find helpful: (see post 5)

Good luck!
It's good to add a lip to the opening of the nest box, to help keep young chicks from falling out.
We've already made the nest box. I'm putting my hen in her little 'area' with the nest box tonight. I will try to get a pic up. The chicks r gunna b so cute I can't wait! And it will be on the ground. There is also a removable lip so when the chicks r starting to walk around we can take the lip off and the chicks can get out better.

Welcome to BYC and the coop! There's a lot of great peeps here! Feel free to ask lots of questions. But most of all, make yourself at home. I'm so glad you decided to joined the BYC family. For a temporary fix, you can fill a 30 gal or 50 gal tote 3/4 full, with hay. A friend of mine is using that, and her girls seem to like it. Plus the chicks can't fall out.

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