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Many hens few eggs

Discussion in 'Poultry' started by CrealCritter, Dec 30, 2018.

  1. Jan 11, 2019
    Lazy Gardener

    Lazy Gardener Almost Self-Reliant

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    I have a community box that is also used for a broody nest, or a hospital room, and have even used it to brood a very small number of chicks for short time.

    When the weather is very cold, I will often block this area off, or block off the top 3 nest boxes in the coop. This forces the birds to lay their eggs in fewer boxes. So... the eggs are covered for more time during the day, therefore not as likely to freeze.
     
  2. Jan 11, 2019
    Rammy

    Rammy Lovin' The Homestead

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    Can you post pics of that?
     
  3. Jan 11, 2019
    CrealCritter

    CrealCritter Super Self-Sufficient

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    Yep... I just went out to the coop but next time I'm out there I will get a pic for you.
     
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  4. Jan 13, 2019
    CrealCritter

    CrealCritter Super Self-Sufficient

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    @Rammy nothing fancy... I screwed a length of plywood to the bottom of the cage to create a flat spot for food and water. Otherwise it's just a chicken wire box with a door.
    IMG_20190112_161108937.jpg
     
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  5. Jan 13, 2019
    Rammy

    Rammy Lovin' The Homestead

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    I had a few hens go broody on me last year, but I had no way of keeping them in the same box and other hens out. This might be an option. The hens would often changecwhich box they would go in and leave the ones tgey were sitting on. This way maybe I can prevent that.
     
  6. Jan 13, 2019
    CrealCritter

    CrealCritter Super Self-Sufficient

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    Yeah might help... Just slip the cage over top, add waterer & feeder. Not very intrusive for the broody so higher success she'll remain sitting and no other chicken can disturb her. With a bunch of BOs I don't have any problems with hens not going broody - just the opposite I have to disrupt them to get the off the nests.
     
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  7. Jan 13, 2019
    Mini Horses

    Mini Horses Super Self-Sufficient

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    Yep, once they decide to go broody, you need to keep the "helpers" from adding eggs. I like the idea Crealcritter has. I usually keep a couple old dog houses -- those plastic ones. They are large enough for plenty of room for hen & chicks. I cage small area around it for hen, when hatched, enlarge the area. Works. I had 3 at one time last year, then 2 or 3 more after. One hen went for second hatch late summer. :idunno
     
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  8. Jan 13, 2019
    Lazy Gardener

    Lazy Gardener Almost Self-Reliant

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    I have 2 seclusion options in my coop for broody boxes. One is raised above the pop door, about 2' x 4'. Unless I'm dealing with a broody, that area remains open as a community nest box. That box has doors which can be opened from the back to create the option of making a run for broody to take her chicks outside, or even for the broody to do her periodic walk-a-bouts while she's setting a clutch of eggs. Down side of this area is that the exit is about 3.5' above the ground, thus not a viable option for baby chicks to come and go.

    The second option is: blocking off the bottom 3 nest boxes so the broody can set on her eggs in one double nest, and come/go from a little broody run when I open the egg gathering door during the day.

    In any coop of decent size, it would be very easy to make a broody area simply by blocking off a corner, and adding an other pop door which could be used only when necessary.

    @Beekissed has even used bales of hay to build broody areas or a separate area to brood chicks.
     
  9. Jan 13, 2019
    CrealCritter

    CrealCritter Super Self-Sufficient

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    Helpers - that's a good one :D. More so than often I have a hard time figuring out which is the broody and which is the helper. 50/50 chance - i've guessed wrong more than once. 14 eggs is about maximum for my BO to sit on at a time. Most I've had hatch is 13 out of 14 which I think is awesome results for a broody.
     
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  10. Jan 13, 2019
    Mini Horses

    Mini Horses Super Self-Sufficient

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    You would be right!

    I often let my broody -- when I notice the beginning, to sit a golf ball a few days, then give her eggs once I see she's intent.

    You would have a hard time deciding who's who with all BOs. The one who growls at you is the broody :lol:
     
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