Will my coop setup work for a mama and babies

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by happymorrows, Nov 23, 2010.

  1. happymorrows

    happymorrows Songster

    Feb 25, 2009
    Morganton, NC
    So, my coop is elevated off of the ground. There is a ramp for them to get outside. My nestboxes are also about a foot or so off of the floor in the coop. My question is, if a broody hatches a clutch in said nest boxes, will the babies be able to get down at two days old, and if they can will they be able to navigate the ramp? There is a picture of the ramp on my BYC page. I am more worried about the elevated nest box, but I have heard it can be difficult to move a broody hen. Thoughts...suggestions??

  2. andalusn

    andalusn Songster

    Sep 6, 2009
    Ridgefield, WA
    Mine is a tale of two different broody hens [​IMG] one stays in the coop and settles herself into a nest box for the duration and then once the the eggs hatch I move her to a nursery pen I have setup in a 6 x 6 ft dog kennel that is very close to my hen house but in my barn aisle way. The nest box is too high for new peeps to navigate and the ramp is not as steep as yours. Little peeps get active quick and seem to be able to hop onto things very well in short period of time. My other broody hen takes a different approach. Gets secretive and hides her eggs in the stack of hay and brings them out when she is ready and then I have a long wooden nest box that sits on the ground and has a lid. Matter of fact she presented her latest brood on Saturday, much to my amazement she hatched 16 peeps. At night she takes them to her box and they settle in the back. Currently she does not seem to want them by the other chickens just yet. My take on the whole process is to see what they do on their own and offer support where I see the need. Usually within a week or so my hens may sleep away from the rest of the flock but during the day they integrate them and the mother hens tell the rooster who's boss. Your hen house looks big enough that if you needed to they could stay inside until big enough to negotiate the ramp. I am sure you will find others with great experience with hens and peeps on the forum. This past spring and summer was my first time with broody hens. One has not really laid eggs to share since Feb. Just keeps setting and hatching.

    Her first hatch - settled in a box on the ground by the feed [​IMG]


    when I had two at one time.. after a week I opened the kennel and the two hens moved in together. They like having a box/dog crate.

  3. tallyho

    tallyho Songster

    Aug 24, 2010
    Quote:I had the same set up and here's what I did...

    1) Did not move broody prior to hatch. I let her stay in the community nest box where she had taken up residence. She's high ranking bird so no one bothered her. Moving the broody with eggs to a lower level is an option and an entirely different discussion.

    2) As hatching time grew closer I kept checking to see what was happening. Didn't want the babies to fall out. They stayed under mom and only peeked out a bit.

    3) When all were dry, I move them to a separate pen with a dog crate. It was no problem moving mom at that point. She was happy with her babies. I locked them in their dog crate at night to be safe.

    Hope that helps.

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