Semi-isolation design for baby chicks

Sue Gremlin

Crowing
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Jan 1, 2013
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Vicksburg, MI
My husband built this little thing to fit inside two of our nest boxes to accommodate our broody hen and her chicks that are due to hatch next week. We designed it so Mom can hop out when she needs to so she can eat and drink, but the chicks can't wander. I want to keep them contained and will put the chicks' feed and water in there, and will plan to leave them inside until they're big enough to go outside with Mom, probably a few days.

What do you think of this plan? I have never raised chicks before, so I am a total naif. I have 7 other hens in the coop with the mom. I am assuming the other hens won't try to go in and mess with her and her brood. Is that a fair assumption?

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rosemarythyme

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That looks pretty cool. Wouldn't be surprised if mama tries to jump out at some point (or other hens, in), so maybe some wire over the top would help (just a sheet of chicken wire should suffice, just let the overhang go over nest box top).

If your mama hen is doing her job she should ward off any hens that try to mess with the chicks. If she's more docile or low ranked, it's possible that another hen might try something while mama doesn't fight back.
 

aart

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The other birds will want to be in there in a flash, to check out the feeder, the tight quarters could make hen fights injurious to the chicks.

I realized today that we have another broody, so she may go in there to co-parent.
When are the first broodies eggs due to hatch?
Have the other hens been bothering her, or laying egg in her nest?
 

Sue Gremlin

Crowing
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Jan 1, 2013
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Vicksburg, MI
They are due next weekend, June 7th. Most of them have been going right in there and laying their eggs in her nest. They're not bothering her, it's more awkward. They go in, shove her over, sit on her eggs and stare at her for a half hour or so before making their deposit and leaving. I don't have a rooster, so those are the only fertile eggs, we got them from a neighbor.

I wonder if I should just leave the thing open and make sure the chicks have access to feed and water. I am going to watch them very closely.
 

aart

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They go in, shove her over, sit on her eggs and stare at her for a half hour or so before making their deposit and leaving.
You've been removing those egg daily...and the fertile ones are marked or unique??
Do you only have the one nest?

I wonder if I should just leave the thing open and make sure the chicks have access to feed and water. I am going to watch them very closely.
Might be best, or make an enclosure larger and secure from other hens.
 

Sue Gremlin

Crowing
8 Years
Jan 1, 2013
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Vicksburg, MI
You've been removing those egg daily...and the fertile ones are marked or unique??
Do you only have the one nest?

Might be best, or make an enclosure larger and secure from other hens.
We have the fertile ones marked, yes, and we also have 4 nests, but for some reason, they pick hers. At least some of them do. Weirdos. We are taking out the other eggs and I have the scars from it. :) She's been getting in and out of the nest easily enough.
 

MANNA-PRO

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