2 broodies sharing clutch but chicks hatched out Mon/tues! (its Fri) Suggestions?

CAjerseychick

Songster
7 Years
Jun 25, 2012
775
20
113
Northern California!
So.... 8 eggs only 3 hatched out (1 dud was my fault, I was stirring the eggs around and collecting them not realizing she was broody)- so here is the background: the one hen up high in nest box on 1 egg. one hen in a corner of the coop on 7 eggs. Hatched out 3 mon/tues (I was away, got back last night)- daughter feeling sorry for the hen in the nest box with the dud, put a chick up in the nest box, well it must have gone right back to its siblings, cause it jumped back down -- the hen up in the nest box then abandoned the dud (?) and is now bottom to bottom to the other hen sitting on the other 5 eggs (I think there is an extra one in there now, I will remove that one and feed it to the dogs, and ? eventually toss the other ones out-- it was day 23 on wed)... all 3 chicks moved to be under the new hen (the one that was up high in the nest box)...

Feel a bit sorry for the hen who actually hatched them out, but she is sorta huge and cumbersome and slow (my largest Jersey Giant) and this happened last yr- she hatched out 5 and then a new hen came and took the whole set out to the bushes and raised them there successfully (we have large dogs that patrol and ward of predators).

My concern is that 1) neither hen is moving ... although nothing is hatched since Tues. and its Friday.
I got back and set up a chick waterer in the coop for the chicks last night (there is a 5 gallon waterer outside the coop but its up high out of chick reach, same for the feeder).... and today (FRIDAY and they hatched Mon/tues) set up a chick feeder right next to the mamas- even though neither hen moved, the one closest to the feeder immediately stuck her head out started eating and made a treat call and the chicks came running to eat (they seemed hungry, not sure how they survived past the 2 days of yolk absorption)...

2) we have 16 other chickens, when they come back tonight to roost alittle concerned how to keep the bigger chickens out of the chick feeder, given that both mamas are setting tight in the coop (its teeny 4x8 ft and they are under the main roost actually)-- 7 of them are wk olds that just got out of the brooder they normally sleep just infront of the coop in the run area (its fenced to keep the dogs out with cattlepanels, but the chickens can enter and come and go)... Of course its pouring rain at the moment, the brooder is full of obnoxious, stinky ducklings, and we have a sick goat in our garage....

so.. dont have alotta options for moving them....


Thoughts?
How long should I let the mamas go (now they do have food - I put out gamebird crumbles for everyone -- and water)-- I leave tommorrow night back tues....
 
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CAjerseychick

Songster
7 Years
Jun 25, 2012
775
20
113
Northern California!
Well heres an update, for those who might find it useful. I laid down a deep layer of fresh pine chips in the coop today, refilled the waterer and chick feeder (crumbles, unmedicated vs the pellets we feed the adult birds that is stocked in the big feeder)- didnt want to try a deep clean of the coop (it looks like it might rain again today)...

Moms moved to the other side of the coop for me and LO there is a 4th chick (all black moms and a white leghorn dad gives you yellow, spotted chicks, kinda like dalmations LOL)....! Yay. SO I did leave the 4 last eggs in a corner of the coop, and when I was done, mama #1 sat back on them. I think they will be fine, They have 2 mamas one that doesnt move far from the eggs (these will be tossed Tues when I get back into town) and one that sits next to her with the babies tucked into her feathers (I will never get tired of seeing chicks peeking out from under mama hen!) but will get up a few steps to show them food and water.... 2 Mamas is better than one....

So thats my update.... hope its helpful this is only our second yr with Broodies...
 
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