Why you should let a broody hen brood.
Last spring when Nick and I decided to order our chicks, I made sure we had everything ready. A brooder box with 2 heat lamps, a brooder thermometer, plenty of pine shavings, chick starter feed, chick grit, nutri-drench, I had an arsenal!
I wasn’t going to let anything happen to those babies! I checked on them constantly!
I adjusted their lamp if the thermometer read the wrong temp for their age in weeks, I checked their butts for pasty butt, and I held them to make sure they bonded with me.
After all of that, it was time to move them to the coop. I was a little more than nervous, after all of that work to keep them alive!
I kept the heat lamp on at night until they adjusted to outdoor temps, I locked them in the coop for 3 days to make sure they knew where “home” was, and still held them so they didn’t forget that I was Momma.
Pin Me For Later!!
But then came “Chickie Momma.”
Just before Thanksgiving she decided that she was not leaving that nesting box, so I obliged and gave her 7 eggs. And she taught me why you should let a broody hen brood!
Through her 21 days of sitting, she never wavered and put up with me, her “momma hen” checking on her multiple times a day to make sure she was OK and getting up at least once a day to eat, drink, and poo.
The temps dropped and it snowed and she was fine. The week before Christmas she hatched 4 fluffy yellow chicks and has been an excellent mom.
She covers them when they’re cold, shows them where to find the best treats, checks them for pasty butt, and taught them how to get in and out of the coop.
The chicks are 6 weeks old now and even though, in a brooder box, they should have steady temps around 75˚F they are bouncing about in the snow and as I said “Momma Knows Best” she shelters them when they’ve had a little too much fun in the snow.
So, is a brooder box really necessary? Unless a broody gives up on her babies, or you’re getting your first clutch of chicks, it is definitely much easier to let a broody do her thing!
How do we house our broody hens? Check out How To Build A Brooder Box, And Why You Need One!