3 broody hens, one coop

thyme4jb

Chirping
7 Years
Jan 28, 2012
46
0
77
Near Austin, TX
Ok, so three hens went broody within a week of each other. (Their first batch of eggs was eaten by snakes within two days of being hatched. GRRRRRRRRRRRR. Killed one snake, but the other survived and since has eaten a couple more. But that story is for another forum.)

My questions regard these three hens having chicks under them around the same time, being in the same coup together. Is that ok? Should they (hens) be separated? I think I could do that within the same coup, like putting up a partition, but I don't want that to be stressful for the hens or chicks. The chicks are due in 3 days, and right now are in an incubator because I don't trust the snakes OR the hens to keep the snakes out of their nests. I'll put the eggs under the hens in about 2 days.

Any ideas? Advise?
 
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centrarchid

Free Ranging
10 Years
Sep 19, 2009
23,928
13,456
696
Holts Summit, Missouri
I raise chicks with hens a lot. Sometimes no issues. Most of time their are issues so I spread them out either in space or in time. Hens have natural dispersal mechanisms that do not operate well in confinement.
 

sue25

Songster
Apr 25, 2017
1,092
1,449
232
Hephzibah GA
Ok, so three hens went broody within a week of each other. (Their first batch of eggs was eaten by snakes within two days of being hatched. GRRRRRRRRRRRR. Killed one snake, but the other survived and since has eaten a couple more. But that story is for another forum.)

My questions regard these three hens having chicks under them around the same time, being in the same coup together. Is that ok? Should they (hens) be separated? I think I could do that within the same coup, like putting up a partition, but I don't want that to be stressful for the hens or chicks. The chicks are due in 3 days, and right now are in an incubator because I don't trust the snakes OR the hens to keep the snakes out of their nests. I'll put the eggs under the hens in about 2 days.

Any ideas? Advise?
I believe it depends on the breed as to whether the hens do well together. The temperament of your hens have a lot to do with successful team rasing and how crowded your coop is. Most times the hens rase chicks together well in my experience with them.
 

centrarchid

Free Ranging
10 Years
Sep 19, 2009
23,928
13,456
696
Holts Summit, Missouri
My measure takes into account number of chicks reared per hen. I like to average 6 to 8 chicks per hen. Co-parenting has averaged a good deal lower. It is best not to be swayed by results of just a couple of broods when basing opinions. You can large broods and small broods make it both ways with respect to hen number, it is the average that counts.
 

thyme4jb

Chirping
7 Years
Jan 28, 2012
46
0
77
Near Austin, TX
I raise chicks with hens a lot. Sometimes no issues. Most of time their are issues so I spread them out either in space or in time. Hens have natural dispersal mechanisms that do not operate well in confinement.
What is a "natural dispersal mechanism"? What does that mean?
 

thyme4jb

Chirping
7 Years
Jan 28, 2012
46
0
77
Near Austin, TX
Thanks Sue25. Temperament of the hens would make a huge difference in the outcome of raising broods together in the same coop. Makes sense.
 

JanetMarie

Crowing
5 Years
Oct 23, 2014
1,969
2,626
366
Michiana
My experience is having had two moms raise one group of chicks together and cooperated with one another well.

Keep an eye on them as you don't know if it will go well. This time of year, as long as you have plenty of room to roam, they can get away from one another if needed.

I wouldn't take the time to separate unless necessary.
 
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