2 Hens Brooding Together...Is It O.K.?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by joeyschicks, Apr 15, 2009.

  1. joeyschicks

    joeyschicks New Egg

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    Apr 15, 2009
    I have 2 hens brooding the same clutch of eggs. There are 13 eggs in the nest and they both want to brood together. Should I let them? Will they hurt the babies being together? Should I separate the two of them and give them both some eggs or should I let the one who first started brooding have the nest(one hen started 3 days before the other)?
    Any help is appreciated, also will they get lonely? Should I have a rooster in there for company?
     
  2. Southernbelle

    Southernbelle Gone Broody

    Mar 17, 2008
    Virginia
    I have co-parenting broodies all the time - sometimes they share a nest and gently wrestle each other for the eggs and sometimes they brood on seperate nests and share the babies after they hatch. I even had 3 broodies share 6 babies recently.

    All my broodies are Silkies - very gentle little birds. I went down there earlier and one broody mama is in the final stretch - her eggs are due tonight and when I checked on her, there were someone else's chicks in with her (not tucked under her, just sitting in her nest, like they were visiting) and she was making gentle mothering noises to them. You would think she'd be nuts about them being so close when her own are almost here.

    I also foster chicks of all ages under mine - they will mother anything they can get their wings on.
     
  3. Picco

    Picco Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 14, 2007
    NY
    My hens do it all the time. I had a pair of bantams that raised a clutch together every year. I wouldn't break them up. Let them hatch the chicks and see how it goes. I only had a problem once; they randomly began to fight one day over the chicks so I had to separate them.
     
  4. DANNY

    DANNY Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 27, 2009
    GAINESVILLE, GEORGIA
    IT'S ACCORDING TO WHAT KIND OF HENS. THEY USUALLY FIGHT AND BREAK EGGS AND ALLOW PART OF THEM TO GET COLD AND SPOIL. YOU CAN TAKE ANOTHER NEST AND PUT SOME OF THE WARM EGGS IN IT AND TRY TO RELOCATE HER. KEEP IN MIND YOU DO THIS AT NIGHT IT IS MUCH EASIER. MUTIPLE SETTERS HAS ALWAYS BEEN A PROBLEM BUT NOW I HAVE LEARNED TO DEAL WITH. SOMEONE ELSE POSTED THAT THEY HAD 3 HENS BROODING 6 CHICKS. 6 CHICKS IS NOT A VERY GOOD HATCH FOR 3 HENS. I GUESS IT'S ACCORDING TO WHAT YOUR GOAL IS.
     
  5. Year of the Rooster

    Year of the Rooster Sebright Savvy

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    Jun 27, 2008
    West Central Ohio
    Quote:Please do not type in caps, its as if you were yelling at them in real life.

    This information is very helpful to me as I have two broody silkies that set at the EXACT same time. Both have been sharing eggs, but now that the due date approaches, I let them have whatever eggs they want(as one hen seems to wants 7 while the other one doesn't mind 3...)
     
  6. DANNY

    DANNY Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 27, 2009
    GAINESVILLE, GEORGIA
    SORRY ABOUT THAT. I AM NOT YELLING. I AM JUST LEARNING TO TYPE.
     
  7. joeyschicks

    joeyschicks New Egg

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    Apr 15, 2009
    Thanks for all the replies. I feel much better about letting them brood together. Everywhere I looked on the internet kept saying I had to separate them, so it is nice to hear from actual people who have been there and done that.
    I moved them both to a very large dog crate with the nest, and they both seem happy. When I first tried moving just one or the other, they would freak out and pace the cage, but together they are comfortable.
    Thanks again for the advice.
     

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