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space for broody with her chicks

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Shorty1071, Jan 27, 2017.

  1. Shorty1071

    Shorty1071 In the Brooder

    Jan 1, 2017
    Hi, sorry if this has been asked and answered, I couldn't find much on it.

    Working on building our coop, and want to plan ahead with some different sections I have planned. I plan to have it sectioned off in one area for introducing new birds to the flock, or to put chickens who I specifically want to breed in, or any other reason I come up with. I would also like to have a little section for hens that are brooding and will be hatching out eggs. I know the hen doesn't need much space when she's sitting on her eggs, since she won't leave the nest much.. but roughly how much space does a hen with her brood need for the first month or so?

  2. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Crossing the Road

    Nov 7, 2012
    I would not plan on keeping the hen and her brood away from the rest of the flock. If your coop and run are big enough, she can bring her chicks into the rest of the flock by the time they are old enough to navigate the pop door. You may have to supervise initially, or make them a stair step ramp. Mama will kick butt if any one messes with her babies, unless she's a wuss at the bottom of the pecking order. You'll have to look at your flock goals, the size of coop you plan to build, and figure out how much room you can sacrifice for separate pen(s). I'd try to make it so that it could be easily set up/removed. Think portable/removeable/multi-purpose. Also consider multi height.
  3. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Chicken tender Premium Member

    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    It can be hard to convince a hen to brood eggs where you want her to. I personally wait until a hen is broody than give her some eggs. She's almost always in a nestboxes. The day of hatching I'm around and after most are hatched they all get moved to the floor into a wire enclosure with any unhatched eggs put under. Most hens will accept this, some won't.

    So I have separation pens, but I don't have a broody pen, just a circle of wire. I keep them confined for 1-2 weeks before I let them start to mingle in the flock. That's the time most chicks need to be strong enough to keep up with mom and avoid the other birds.
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    I have a 4x6 area in my coop, separated by wire and wood wall, was plenty of room for her to stretch her legs.

    Once broody was definitely broody in main nests, I put her in there with a portable floor nest and some fake eggs.
    She was NOT happy, but after about 6 hours she settled into the nest and continued her quest to brood.
    After a day or two of that I gave her some fresh fertile eggs and she hatched them all out.
    I removed wall after chicks were sturdy and eating and drinking well.
    In mild weather I would have taken down wall after just a few days to a week,
    but it was frigid cold at the time so I waited until about 2 weeks during a warm up.

    I would not go smaller than a 2' x 2' open floor space(not including nest and feed/water dishes).
    Make it easily accessible to you so you can remove the noxious broody poops she will drop during her constitutionals.

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