Building my broody a box

Calamity Jane has been broody for three months now. Although she failed to successfully hatch the fertile donor eggs in April, she was not clearly at fault, so I have decided to let her try again.

Miniature goats at Bradley Farm

Yesterday I stopped by the Bradley Farm near my work in Puyallup. I petted a pair of adorable miniature goats and purchased a mix of fertile eggs; Black Copper Marans, Lavender Orpington, Blue-laced red Wyandotte, and Delaware. It’s not like I can keep all these chicks, even if the hatch, but I still want to see them!

Mix of fertile eggs from the Bradley Farm

Among the lessons learned from April’s trail of tears was that I should isolate my broody so that 1) she can’t abandon the nest and 2) other hens can’t mess with her eggs. Another suggestion was a larger nest (mine are a bit sub-standard and CJ is a big girl).

With the eggs in hand, it was past time to build a Broody Box where CJ and her eggs would be safe. I looked at pictures online to get some ideas, came up with three designs of increasing complexity, and went with the middle one (after Scott’s reaction to my chosen model 3 made me realize I was being unnecessarily ambitious).

It took me 6 hours to build the broody box, using mostly materials I had lying about the garage. First I built a frame from 2 x 2 s, similar to those I built for the chicken tractor train.

Nearly-finished broody box with cedar siding on nest box

Next I added a floor and siding to one end to hold the over-size nest box. The 100-year old cedar siding I used from our bathroom remodel still smelled delicious when I cut it to size. I figure it will help prevent pest problems. I gave the nest box a 3″ lip to help hold in bedding and eggs, and added a small floor outside the lip to prevent day-old chicks from falling to the ground. (Ojala that we get that far!)

Extra-large nest box with lip and platform

I built a door that would open from the side, allowing the chicken to come out if I prop it open during the day. Chicken wire is stapled to the remaining sides and top, except where a removable solid roof prevents the nest from getting wet and allows easy access the eggs/hen.

Finished broody box with removable lid and chicken door

I gave CJ the eggs this afternoon and plan to move the whole brooding family tonight. Hopefully she will take to the new nest!

[UPDATE: Broody loves the box]

This entry was posted in baby chickens, broody hen, chicken coop / run, chickens, DIY, eggs, update and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Building my broody a box

  1. Nancy says:

    we’re rooting for CJ!

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