My silkies hatched and now we are playing broody roulette. I hatched 7 chicks in the new incubator and I have had a couple of hens go broody in the last week or two since I set the eggs. I had just bought a Hovabotor Genesis 1588 and was testing it out. It did really well and I am pleased with this first batch. I set 10 eggs- 2 were clears and 7 out of 8 that developed hatched. I've got two partridge, two black and white paints, two whites, and one white showgirl. I was hoping for some more exotic colors, but they are cute as always.
I started by moving one broody (Petunia) to the broody pen with the new babies but she was all fussed and did not want to be in broody pen and kept leaving the babies to throw herself against the fence. So I took everybody back to the main coop and split the new chicks between the two broodies, Petunia and Imogene. Well,my I'll- take- any- babies-anytime girl Dandelion wasn't even broody but she climbed in next Petunia and started co-mothering. The single broody Imogene was on the other side of the coop in a different nest box- she's grumpy when she's broody and does not like to co-mother with anybody. (This is a silky coop so all the next boxes are at floor level.) I figured I'd give them the night to get used new babies then try again to move them this morning. I know none of my girls is mean to babies so I thought they'd be okay for the night.
I came out this morning and found all seven chickies are under Imogene, the grumpy one, and the not-broody co-mom Dandelion had left the coop and Petunia, was on her side of the coop sitting diligently on nothing. Oh, well. I moved Grumpy Old Imogene to the broody pen with all 7 chicks and they all seem happy. It goes to show you never know what to expect with broodies. I keep a permanent baby pen set up in the garage with a heat lamp and a heating pad ready to be plugged in if I should need it. Once Imogene gets settled in for a day or two, I'll get some pictures.