Trap doors on nest boxes? Do they work?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by 4H kids and mom, Apr 12, 2007.

  1. 4H kids and mom

    4H kids and mom Cooped Up

    Mar 10, 2007
    Southern Wisconsin
    I've been reading alot in my Chicken Bible lately. The section on breeding talks about forcing a hen to go broody by using a sort of trap door system to keep her locked in with the eggs once she's laid them. I have several questions about this method.

    1. First, wouldn't she freak out and break them all, making it worthless anyway?

    2. Anybody here ever do this? Does it work on hens that dont normally get broody?

    3. Dumb question, but wouldn't you have to let her out physically a few times a day for her to potty and eat? What if you let her out, and cant get her to go back in?

    4. I've heard more about people putting a nestbox in a large dog type kennel and keeping the hen in there (which I suppose is the same principle). Does it really work?

    I ask because we will need to breed once a year to have chickens to show in the fair, but our breeds are not really 'known' for broodiness, so I'm looking at other options because I just don't think I could do the whole incubation thing. I really prefer to let nature do its things unless I HAVE to intervene, and this just doesn't seem like it be a thing I'd NEED to do. When I bred parrots, I just let them breed and hatch naturally. I did take the babies when they were young to handfeed and wean them so they imprinted on humans, but that was the extent of it. I'm kinda hoping we can do similar with the chickens. Am I asking for trouble and heartache, or will it work out?
  2. keljonma

    keljonma Songster

    Feb 12, 2007
    8A East Texas
    I've read about trap nests being used for broody hens that like to lay their eggs in hidden spots, but never to force a hen to go broody.

    Broodiness is a hormonal change in the pullet or hen. When she goes broody, she will leave the nest one or two times a day for food, water and do a broody poo (the world's smelliest thing there is, too!).

    Some breeds will never go broody.
  3. Picco

    Picco Songster

    Mar 14, 2007
    I don't think you can really make a hen broody, its just a natural process she will do on her own her own time. I think forcing her to be cooped up will just freak her out. You can do a few things that might trigger the instinct though like providing 14 hours of light, feeding fresh greens and other fresh foods and providing a private nest that is dark and quiet. leaving a few eggs (or golfballs) in the nest might help too. It might be worth it for you to buy a few adult silky hens. Bantam cochins are great too for broodyness. In my coop once a hen goes broody a few others usually start.

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