Updating the coop and bugging a hen out of broodiness :)

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Kmack, Nov 9, 2015.

  1. Kmack

    Kmack In the Brooder

    Nov 3, 2015
    It's been a wonderful morning! [​IMG]
    My hens weren't using their roosts and I just got two new girls going from 6 to 8 so I figured it was time to update the coop and try to make them more happy and comfortable. I took out the two nests I had in there (just a couple cat carriers) and I put them outside (does anybody provide nests outside btw?). I took out the 2x4s. They were pretty close to the wall and quite low so I don't think the girls really liked them. The coop itself is only 4 ft high so I can't do much but I had to do something. So I finally ripped out this dead small fruit tree that I've been ignoring for a while, sawed it up and secured that in the coop a little higher than the 2x4s were and further from the wall. I then put one 2x4 back in slightly lower than the branch and even farther forward. I then taped 4 crates together, cut up some wood to make a "front buffer" in each crate and stuffed that in the back. There is heaps more room in there now, even with everything spread out more. I think the girls like it. They were very curious as I was working.

    This was also a good opportunity to pester one of my hens for a few hours. I've only had these chickens for 1.5 weeks but she has been showing what I can only guess are early signs of going broody. She doesn't sit in one particular spot but she sits a lot during the day. Half the day she does normal chicken stuff and eats and drinks and bosses everyone around because she's the top hen. But the other half she nests and sits around. Maybe she's just lazy but I don't want her to go broody before she even lays me an egg so I keep coming over to shew her over to join the other girls. I'm hoping I can pester the broodiness away haha.

    Hope you're all having a great day![​IMG]

  2. cavemanrich

    cavemanrich Free Ranging

    Apr 6, 2014
    Melrose Park Illinois
    I don't think she is going broody , since she didn't lay any eggs yet.... She may be going into nest getting ready to start egg laying.... Kind of a learning process. As to your remodeling, If it provides more comfort.
    [​IMG] the better. As to outdoor nesting boxes. peeps do keep them.. It all depends on your location and weather. During summer some of my chickens will lay outside in their makeshift nests inside their run.

  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member 5 Years

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    One of the new hens is top hen?
    The existing birds didn't fight the new ones?

    If only in residence 1.5 weeks a new bird isolating and resting alot like that might be ill?

    Would love to see before and after pics of your coop upgrade!
    Changing things up can help with integration of new birds...distracts the existing birds.
  4. Kmack

    Kmack In the Brooder

    Nov 3, 2015
    No Spike and Brunhilde were the first two hens I got. The whole flock is new. The three younger ones came in the same day and then the three other laying hens came in about a week later. Spike is the top hen. She doesn't even have to fight anyone about it everyone just gets out of her way haha. Brunhilde fights to make sure they all know she's second in line but she gets out of Spike's way too.

    I thought she might be sick at first too but I checked her a few times and watched her closely for a week now and she has no signs or symptoms of being ill at all other than sitting around a bit. She doesn't really separate herself all the time. She just likes to go sit in the best spots of the yard depending on the time of day and where the sun is and all that. I don't think she's broody either. I think she's just a lazy hen. She eats, drinks, scratches about and forages and bosses everyone around when she sees fit and the rest of the time she lounges. At first I thought her aggression when anyone but Brunhilde tried to cuddle with her meant she was broody but now I think she just hates everyone except Brunhilde. Hopefully that will change. Even though Brunhilde is the first to fight and assert her dominance when new hens come in they all love her. She's like a mother hen. She grooms everyone while they dust bath and she comforts Spike when she gets grumpy. She doesn't even pick on the little ones.

    I don't have any exact before photos. This is the closest I have but I had added a second 2x4 ahead of the one in this photo and had added another "nesting box" which was just an open basket that took up the back right corner so there wasn't a lot of space. (BTW - Spike is the grey one on the left and Brunhilde is the white on the right)

    Here it is now with Lady Bird, Lucy and Annie (left to right) having a siesta. They stick together because the older ones pick on them. I can't wait until they get a little bigger:

    They all use the 2x4 now and ignore the branch. I really thought it would be the other way around but whatever, they seem happy now.
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2015

  5. Kmack

    Kmack In the Brooder

    Nov 3, 2015
    Thank you! And I hope you're right! But I don't think she is doing it to get ready I think she's just lazy haha.

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