Chicken Coops – A Nest Solution for Broody backyard Chickens
A broody chicken is one that has decided it is time to raise some chicks. This is what happened to one of my backyard chickens. There was some kind of hormone change and she stopped laying eggs. She appeared all fluffed up and started sounding like a crow! It was a kind of deep growl rather than the usual cooing sound they make. All she would do is sit in the nest box. Hardly eat at all. She wants to sit on eggs until they hatch. But since they are not fertilize eggs, they are never going to hatch.
I tried many of the usual suggested things. I separated her from the flock, in a cage with her own water and food. But when I would let her out, she would just race back to the chicken coop and into the nest box. Its just that she has been doing this for 2 months now! Another thing that is suggested is to make sure that there is ventilation under their bottom. I guess it feels cold and they aren’t able to maintain that warmth for incubating the eggs, so things shift.
So I thought I would try it. Since she wouldn’t leave the nest box. I built a fenced bottom to the nest box. Since my chicken coops are modular, I just swapped out the solid bottom and put this in its place. It really did the trick. She stopped sitting in there and yet the other hens are still able to lay their eggs there. Now that a few days have passed and I feel she has really stopped brooding, I put some straw back on top of the fenced bottom that they can form into a nest. Once I find that the egg laying has returned to normal, I will probably swap the solid bottom back in its place again.
If you own one of my chicken coops, I will start selling these nest bottoms next week on my web site. I think I will call them “broody bottoms”.