An Introduction

This blog is a little bit about everything. My life as a mother, a wife, and owner of a home with an acre. We like to call it our family farm. My family currently consists of the human members- my husband, S and our two beautiful girls, B and O; then there are the animals- our dogs, Charlie & Lola Belle and our Chickens. Check back often, you never know when we'll add a new member! ; )

Monday, February 20, 2012

Broody Hen Condo

S and I went down to the coop and did some renovations this morning.  We added a broody condo to the coop.  We didn't move our currently broody hen, who is sitting on eggs, but we have the area ready.  If any chicks hatch under her, we'll move her and the chicks into the broody condo, this way she'll be able to get used to being a mama in peace, without the other girls trying to steal her space.  If none hatch (which, sadly, is pretty likely) we'll move her or our next broody hen, into the condo before we officially give them their eggs to sit on.  The condo is a sectioned off part of the current coop, separated by welded wire.  This way the broody hen/mama hen and her babies can still be seen and heard by the other hens (and Rudy, too).  Hopefully this should help when it's time to re-introduce mama and babies to the flock.  Chickens are known for being very "clique-y" and not wanted to accept any newbies into their group.  Ahh, yes, doesn't it take you back to middle school days?  ; )  But, the process of allowing the new chicks to be seen and heard, but not in a place where the other hens can harm them, is supposed to help with the introduction.  Some say that if you have a really good mama hen (and she is high enough in the pecking order of the flock to begin with) she will keep the other hens in check and away from her brood.  At this point, I'm not willing to try this just yet.  If all goes well, I'll first introduce them when they are out free ranging, rather than letting the hens think that the new chicks are intruding in their coop.  Pretty much, we're just taking things one step at a time and figuring it out as we go.
Here are some pics of our most current renovation project.
There were 10 nest boxes open for use.  All the girls laid eggs in 2 of the top boxes, so we had closed off the bottom 5 and used them as storage from the outside.

Inside the coop- broody condo on the right.

 Broody condo- not the best pic, but inside are 3 open nest boxes and some floor space.

 We hinged the wood that covered the bottom nest boxes and added legs to hold this side open (3 nest boxes long).  Then we enclosed it with welded wire.

Rudy and some of the girls, waiting outside for our work to be done.

And the point of the whole project... to get more of these!  ; )

Here is Miss Broody herself, Buffy.  She's a Buff Orpington.  This is her, nice and calm, just trying to look out and see what we're doing...

 And this is when she gets protective of her nest!  Watch out!

No comments:

Post a Comment