Teacher wanting to put a broody in a classroom...advice

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by dacdeihl, Dec 18, 2009.

  1. dacdeihl

    dacdeihl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 24, 2009
    NorthEast, In
    Ok, I'm a teacher at a Montessori school and we have a flock of 10 hens with one roo. I'm looking for information on wheather my idea is a good one or not.

    I was thinking of two ideas.
    #1. When I have a broody put her in a milk crate with a lid. Water supply and food available. Put her in the classroom to brood. To see if her eggs will hatch.

    #2. Take eggs from our hens and put in an incubator to let the kids hatch.

    I really want to do the first because these kids have been doing chicken care all year and always ask about how a hen raises eggs into chicks. Anyone have any ideas of how to do this with keeping the chicken stress free as possible.

    Does a broody hen leave the nest ever?
  2. The Sheriff

    The Sheriff Overrun With Chickens

    Jun 17, 2009
    Northern CA
    I do not know how you would deal with the daily "broody poop." They are huge and very smelly! I made the mistake of bringing a broody in the house and we couldn't get her out of here fast enough. [​IMG]
  3. Soccer Mom

    Soccer Mom Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 5, 2009
    West of Crazy
    I would do the incubator. Broody hens like to be left alone and I don't think she'd care for the noise, etc...
  4. Buck Creek Chickens

    Buck Creek Chickens Have Incubator, Will Hatch

    Nov 26, 2008
    Neenah, WI
    A milk crate is going to be a little small, you need enough room for her to stretch and poop, banty or full size? for my serama broodys i use the plastic box the cat litter come in, rectangle seems to work better the square

    i've had broodies who could care less what happens around them, all depends on the bird
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2009
  5. horsejody

    horsejody Squeaky Wheel

    Feb 11, 2008
    Waterloo, Nebraska
    You will probably need more room that just a milk crate. Even though they sit most of the day, they do occasionally get up to stretch, eat and poop. They also like to be a bit isolated and tucked away. It might be a bit loud and bright in a classroom. If you have a broodier breed of hen, I would bring her to the classroom in a larger cage and see if she goes broody before giving her eggs to sit on. A small Silkie would probably be a good candidate. But beware, Silkies are known to be evil and corrupt small children.
  6. justmeandtheflock

    justmeandtheflock Overrun with ducklings :)

    May 27, 2009
    NW NJ
    I think I would let her brood outside with the rest of the chickens because of the poo or use an incubator so that the children could watch the eggs hatch. Good luck!
  7. Chickenmaven

    Chickenmaven Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 6, 2009
    Broody Cam? The kids could watch via the net.
  8. dacdeihl

    dacdeihl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 24, 2009
    NorthEast, In
    What about having a small dog create. A wire one that is open and fresh. Then she could sit in the box and get up. We could even put in out side the classroom door so she is outside.
    Oh, there would be a chore created for the time she's there to clean up the poop.
  9. saddina

    saddina Internally Deranged

    May 2, 2009
    Desert, CA
    The Montessori classrooms where I worked were calm and quiet. If your class is likewise it could work. However broody hens made the worst stool, so you'll want to be able to address that immediatly. I would suggest a rabbit cage, with pine pellets, that way you can slide the tray, scoop out the muck and carry on. If that's not workable you could certainly do an incubator. We had a r-com mini, but if that's not in the budget, one can be made from $15 in hardware store parts and 30 minutes of time.
  10. possumqueen

    possumqueen Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 17, 2009
    Monroe, North Carolina
    Eight years ago I let a teacher have one of my broody bantams one year, and the project was a smashing success!

    The broody in question was a little mutt banty that looked "sorta" oegb. She had no fear of anything. When she settled down to setting we put her, eight eggs, nest and all, in a closed cardboard box one night after dark and moved her to the classroom pen that the kids had prepared for her.

    The kids had several projects built around that one broody hen. They kept journals about their personal impressions. They took notes. A science teacher taught them about observation. There was a big laminated calendar page on the wall that they marked off every day. The hen was carefully escorted out to a little dog pen every day when she acted like she wanted to go out. She learned in a couple of days that the kids were her ticket outside. She would come off the nest and cluck and fuss, but she let herself be carried outside, and she waited for them to bring her back in.

    The day the first egg pipped was declared a "holiday" because the class was too excited to think straight. There were more lessons about how new chicks have yolk left over to live on, and how the mama talks to the babies that are pipping. The chicks grew up in the classroom, and the kids learned about flock behavior and how chickens are social, how chicken society works. They compared that to human society.

    I will add that these were ordinary garden variety public school second graders, 27 of them. Some of them had never been near so much as a kitten.

    I say go for it. Just be careful which chicken you choose to bring to the class, and give her space.

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