- Aug 3, 2008
- Reaction score
- mountains of WV
Whatever nest you make for her, move her to it at night and keep a towel over it for a few days so that she doesn't get off the nest and pace, wanting to go back to her old nest. The dog crate is an excellent idea so that you can cover it completely so she sits quietly there. I'd use the dog crate inside the coop if you can't close the coop up and make it dark inside for a few days. If you don't want to use the crate inside the coop, just poke some vent holes in a cardboard box and put it down over her nest...and put a wt. on it, or she can and will get out of there and pace to go back to her old nest. Don't worry about her not eating or drinking for a few days...she won't need to. Hens will usually not get off the nest for the first 3-4 days of a sit and then the last 3-4 days of the 21 day brood, she also may not get off the nest.As for outside brooder...I had them in our house/barn...with some heat...but we got 4” of snow last night so hubby brought them back in!! Ugh!! Last year it was the opposite!, I like your broody idea with the hen...I think I’ll do it tomorrow. I can either close off an addition to the coop for sick birds etc. it’s 4’x 11’. Or I could put her in a large dog crate...what would you do? Should I put her in the quiet? Great info..thanks @Beekissed !!
Don't try and make her leave the nest to eat and drink...a lot of folks do that and it's simply not needed. She knows when to do it for herself, so just keep feed and water available for when she does. Don't be alarmed about her poop...it will be HUGE, black and tarry looking and that's completely normal. May stink more than normal also. Just cover it or scoop it out of there if you want.
I've found the least I disturb a broody, especially when the chicks are actually hatching, the more successfully it all goes down.