Query on broody and chicks

chicken mum

11 Years
Oct 14, 2008
:|I decided to give my broody some fertile eggs to sit on and all seems to be well so far. However, I have a question about when the eggs hatch - I have a wooden hutch/small box for them to go in when they hatch but does the hen just sit in the box with them all day when they are newborn or should I let her out into the run that I have attached to the box ? I am new to this as this is my first time and it is this question that worries me. Does she just stay and sit with them or should she be getting out and about straight away afterwards ? If she should, do the chicks join her outside straight away or should they be confined to the house ? Hope you can help as the eggs are due to hatch in a few days.


12 Years
Feb 12, 2007
8A East Texas

If you do a search, you'll find lots of information about broody hens and their chicks.

A broody hen will leave the nest box every day to eat, drink and do her broody poo. She will need access to the run every day.

When the eggs start to hatch, put the food and drink right next to her, as she may not leave the nest once hatching starts.

Make sure you have your starter feed (NOT layer) right near mama hen. It won't hurt her to eat it, but it will hurt the chicks to eat layer feed. We use a flat dish, so the chicks can reach the feed easily.

After the chicks are a couple days old, mama hen will start leaving the nest box again and she will expect the babies to follow her. She will show them how to scratch for bugs and you will hear her chuckling for them when she finds a treat to eat. She will also do this with the starter feed when they first start eating. Once they go outside and start eating grass and bugs, they will need grit. Play sand is fine for this, as the regular grit is too large for them at this age.

Make sure the nest box is at ground level so the babies don't fall and get injured.

Also, mama hen will take babies out into high grass immediately. A fenced area where the chicks won't get wet or chilled by wet grass is best in my opinion.

edited for typo.
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