From the safety of an underground nest, it was time to follow the light at the end of the tunnel and meet the world.
There are probably more youngsters still in the nest, but there’s little chance I’ll see them. Once the babies become alert enough to explore, their mother immediately moves them to a new place. By sundown they’ll all be gone, and the hole to the nest will be covered up.
There are six bunny basement condos in and around the barn. Different holes are used at different times of the year, depending on weather conditions. The nests are always near a water source and protected from direct sun. They are made comfortable using pine shavings and feathers found easily in the barn and around the chicken enclosure. When the hens are molting, I have my very own bunny maid. She gathers as many as she can in her mouth and stashes them in her nests all day long. Nice!
If you haven’t met Jasmine, our resident barn bunny, you can read her story, Meet Jasmine, Flock Bunny.
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A Solution… For When the Broodies Take Over the Nests
- Broody hens claiming the community nest area.
Sometimes broody hens can take over the nest area and not let any other members of the flock enter the hen house or their nests. That means the other hen’s routine is upset and this can interrupt or even stop egg production.
It’s better to move the broodies to a confined area. But if you don’t have a separate area suitable for them, sometimes it’s just better to go with the flow and put extra nest boxes in the coop for the others. This is a much better idea than to let them find a place on their own, because what you’ll be doing in that case is going on an everyday egg hunt!
- Extra Nest Box
As you can see, members of the existing flock will rather quickly claim the new extra nest boxes and egg production will eventually resume. One way or the other, problem solved! To help them along, a ceramic egg or golf ball in the box often helps lure them in.
Simple? Probably not, it’s almost inevitable that two hens will claim the same box! So put out a few!