Soon to arrive...

Lisa Haigler

In the Brooder
6 Years
Sep 3, 2013
I have a broody hen that should be hatching eggs this week - I currently have her in a raised rabbit hutch. She has her food and water in there and is very content. What modifications do I need to make once the little oness are here? This will be my first batch of babies from a broody. Help and advise please and Thank you.
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Welcome to BYC!

The chicks should hatch over a 2 day period after which mom will want to get up and walk around with them. They'll be o.k. leaving the next box, or hutch in this case, even if it's elevated, but they will need some kind of ramp to get back up again, unless you can lower the hatch and put it at floor level?

Apart from that you don't have to do much. Make sure they have food and water (chick starter crumbs - mom can eat it too) and water in a shallow dish to prevent drowning. Don't feed the chicks or give the hen access to layer feed. If the hen can get to it she will offer it to the chicks as well and the high calcium content harms their kidneys when they are so young still.

I'm assuming you have other chickens as well? It will be best if you let the broody raise the chicks with the rest of the flock and let the flock accept them as part of the group from the start. This will make things much easier for all in the long run. To get around the feed issue when doing this, feed them all grower or an "all flock" feed and offer the layers in the flock crushed oystershell or egg shells in a separate feeder for their calcium needs.

Good luck with your hatch!
Yes I have 20 chickens and 3 Thanks so much for your help - the hutch does have a door that will open to the ground. Wish us luck...thanks again
I wasn't sure if I should build a pen around the hutch to keep them in a certain area or just let momma do her thing

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