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My hen wants to be a Mama

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
I am new to this site and a new chicken owner. I have four young laying hens and I recently adopted a young Silkie rooster that needed a home. Well, they are a few months old but definitely mature lol. My hens each lay an egg a day that I check for a couple of times a day.
Anyway, a couple of days ago my largest hen started staying in her laying box for most of the day. She started making a Jurassic Park sound whenever I would touch her. Yesterday I was really getting worried that maybe she was sick....until I tried to get the two eggs she was sitting on. One is not her egg...I can tell whose is whose. I realized that she is trying to protect the eggs I have been stealing from her, and last night she wasn't having it. I decided to leave the two eggs with her. I don't have an incubater, but I am honestly leaving the eggs because she is so determined, not that I would mind chicks, I have plenty of space.
So I have several questions...should I separate her from the others? I can block off the small coop she is defending (I have another one my other chickens are using anyway) and there is room to comfortably feed and water her in there. Also, does she need any special supplements? How will the other birds act with the chicks if they hatch? We also have six guinea fowl that are almost ten weeks old, but the chickens are still bigger than them, so the hens rule roost, including the Silkie rooster, lol. They should be funny little Silkie crosses if my hen is successful. Please let me know what you think. I just started this new venture in May, and so far it has been smooth sailing, but I am nervous about winter in Colorado. Any advice is appreciated. Thank you so much. I hope I did this right...it is my first post.
Edited by BarefootOrganic - 9/23/15 at 10:42am
post #2 of 4

You can keep them together or separate her. She won't care. When the chicks hatch, she'll take care of them.

Not all eggs hatch so you may want to add more eggs. But if you do, don't wait. She'll come off the nest after some hatch to teach them and the remaining embryos that were added later will die.

You want to mark the eggs under her so you can remove any that are volunteered later.

Separating is good so you can feed her and the chicks starter feed. However, since you have a rooster with them, you shouldn't be feeding layer anyway.

NPIP 43-813

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.

Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.”                  Mark Twain

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NPIP 43-813

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.

Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.”                  Mark Twain

Reply
post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 
I think I just responded by email lol. I told you I am a newbie. I feed the hens, rooster and Guinea fowl All Poultry feed so I don't have to buy multiple different feed. We were honestly getting more eggs than we could handle when I did egg laying food before we had guineas, so it works out well.
So do you think I should keep Mama and chicks separated until they get bigger (if they hatch) and for how long? Do the eggs that have not been fertilized start stinking? And just use chicken starter feed when they arrive with more crumbles? Thanks for getting back to me.
post #4 of 4

So since you are feeding an all flock feed, you're providing a calcium source like oyster shell in a separate container.

 

I'm torn on keeping them together or separated. If you keep them together, the mother will protect them from other birds. If you separate them till they're older, she'll be less protective and they may get beaten up by the olders. They'll only stink if some bacteria got inside but if you have a stinker, definitely remove it - carefully.

NPIP 43-813

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.

Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.”                  Mark Twain

Reply

NPIP 43-813

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.

Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.”                  Mark Twain

Reply
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