Our second Buckeye hen to go broody this season successfully hatched 3 chicks on Thursday (see “Broodies Buckeye Chicks – 10 Days Old” for more background), which is terrific; however, that means we need someplace to house them – the broody box is inside the coop and too small to hold mama and baby chicks for very long.
As the picture on the right shows, they’re tiny when first hatched, but they grow incredibly fast!
That left us with a dilemma though, what to quickly build so both broodies and chicks had housing?
We ended up taking the large crate we transport the goats in, and putting a kitty litter box in it – necessity is the mother of invention right?
It’s not as nice as the Eglu and run, but we figured they’d only be in there at night – they’d already demonstrated they were ok being outdoors with the flock during the day.
I can’t say that Broody #1 and chicks seemed particularly enthused about the new housing when they moved in, they looked as though they were looking for more space. But, they seemed to make the best of things.
I was concerned that it wouldn’t be as secure as the Eglu and run, particularly if they decided not to sleep in the kitty litter box at night (a raccoon could get its little paws through the cage holes without any trouble).
It seemed like mama went in and out of the kitty litter box a million times, but in the end, she chose to take up residence for the night.
If everything continues to go as planned, we’ll keep them in the new housing for a couple of days so they get accustomed to it as home. Then, we’ll start opening it up during the daytime so they can range with the rest of the flock.
In the meantime, the new chicks and mama get to move into the Eglu. We’ve learned that it works really well as housing for a new mama and chicks.
Now, it’ll be very interesting to see when and how each mama and her chicks re-integrate with the flock as they get older.