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One hen just hatched, one broody....only one broody coop

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

I have two Silkies. One went broody about 6 weeks ago. We weren't prepared and only had one egg to put under her, but it hatched! We moved her into the smaller coop just days before the hatch where she has stayed since. Now we the other Silkie is broody and sitting on 6 of her eggs!

 

Let me back up...we have 2 coops: one large, with run, that all our girls and roo stay in that we built big enough for about 15 chickens. We have 11 total including the newly hatched chick. We also have a smaller coop with run, probably big enough for 2-4 chickens. So, new Mama and her baby (3 weeks old) are currently in the smaller coop. 

 

I know we need to move the current sitting hen to the smaller coop at some point for her to hatch and raise her chicks, but what to do with the other hen and baby?? They are "sisters" and we tried putting them both in the smaller coop the first few days the second one went broody, but that was a no-go. They fought and I had to move second broody hen back to the large coop. 

 

If it were warmer (we are in Southwest Virginia), I would just put a crate in the run of the smaller coop for current broody hen to hatch and raise, but it's not :( So...do any of you think we could move current broody hen to the smaller coop with the baby and let the other hen rejoin the flock?? Will she care for the older chick? Will Mama try to get back into her baby? Or, do you think that we can move them all in together hoping that the first broody will accept second broody with her eggs so that we can leave them both in the smaller coop to raise the chicks??

 

Any other advice and options are appreciated. I just can't seem to find a solution to keep them all safe :/ Thanks in advance!

post #2 of 5

If I'm understanding, you have one 3 week old chick?

 

If so and the first broody is still caring for it, I would move them into the big coop. She'll protect it from the rest of the birds if she hasn't weaned it yet.

Then you can move the new broody into the small building and then move her back after the chicks hatch.

 

You won't be able to feed layer feed though.

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

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post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
Yes, I have a 3 week old chick. I'm afraid to move it and Mama and into the big coop, should I not be? Will she help the baby fight them off if they peck at it? The bigger girls peck at my current broody when she comes out to eat, but only for a minute or two.
If not feeding layer feed, should I switch to All Flock or chick food and provide oyster shell?
Thanks so much!!
post #4 of 5

Sorry, I have very limited experience, but I did have two broodies at once last fall.  I learned: Never again.  I will never try and have two hens raising chicks at the same time in the same small place.  As you've seen, it's nothing but drama. 

 

I think you have two choices, 1) put the current broody in a box (fenced in somehow to protect her) in one of the coops and move her and her chicks into the small coop at hatch and integrate the older chick and mom with the main flock at that time.  2) integrate the mom and chick now and put the other broody in the small coop.

 

For #2, in my experience, my silkies looked after the chicks for about six to eight weeks.  You want to integrate the chick with the main flock before mama stops protecting him/her.  I'd put a few boxes in the run of the big coop/run with holes cut in them big enough for the chick to hide, and move mama and baby in.  Have you free ranged the mom and baby with the flock?  I'd do that a few times, so the other chickens learn to mind their manners.  It would also let you see if the mama would protect the chick or run away.

 

For a time, I had my silkie in a small moving box from lowes inside a wire dog carrier in a shed.  She sat and hatched her chicks there.  They lived there for about three weeks after hatch.  The broody doesn't care where she is really and this could buy you time for the first chick to get a little older before introducing her to flock.

 

Another less awesome, but lower stress choice is sell the single chick and reintegrate the mom and just keep the new ones that are hatching.  The chicks, after mom starts ignoring them, like to hang out together and I'd be worried a chick by him/herself might be lonely.

post #5 of 5

Are your other hens large fowl or all silkies?

 

In my experience, a broody hen is a force to be reckoned with and will defend a chick. That's why it is best to raise them with the flock. After she weans the chick, she won't defend it and it's nearly impossible to introduce one or several chicks to an established flock without a hen to protect them. If raised with the flock, by the time she doesn't protect the chick, it will be accepted as a member of the flock.

 

Yes, switch all to starter (non-medicated) or all flock and OS on the side.

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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