best hatching setup

I wonder if i can improve our success at broody hen-hatched chicks, what is the best setup people have used for a broody? Our nest boxes are wooden and raised off the ground, they get fairly dirty with many hens visiting to keep laying even when one has decided to sit. also in the past the hatch ratio has not been good, maybe they get too dry up there? What are your thoughts/

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  • I always put the broody hens in a separate enclosure - I find that once they start sitting, all the other hens want to put their eggs in that box and they'll shove them out of the nest box or squeeze in there and lay it right next to them. It's best that you make sure that all the eggs get "started" at the same time, since once the first few hatch they'll leave the rest. If other hens keep adding eggs then you'll get eggs of different ages and not all of them are going to get enough brooding to hatch.
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