4 broody hens in one small coop

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Jessicx, Apr 5, 2018.

  1. Jessicx

    Jessicx Chirping

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    I had 4 Bantam hens go broody, one right after another, in a very small coop. The chicks started hatching last night, and I thought all was well until I checked on them this afternoon and found that 4 of 7 chicks had severe pecking injuries. Is this because the coop is too small? Too many broody hens, and if so, can I move them without breaking their broodiness? Or, are they just bad mamas? FYI, they're only 7 months old, and have only been laying for a couple months. These are their first babies. Thanks in advance for any help!
     
  2. Teila

    Teila Bambrook Bantams

    Hey jessicx

    You have probably answered your own question in that you are concerned it is a very small coop and even though I have not seen it, with what you describe, I tend to agree.

    I have moved broody hens with eggs in the past and it has not broken their broodiness.

    If you can, I would try and split them up so that the chicks are not wandering in to the territory of a broody still on eggs or with chicks of her own.

    Unless you see one of them injuring their own chicks, I would say that they are not "bad mamas" just a bit cramped for space.

    Also, those chicks with injuries will probably need to be separated; if they are showing any signs of blood or injuries, they are targets for future attacks.

    While not the nicest thing for the mama hens who have done all the work, if you can not separate them, you may need to consider taking over the care of the chicks in a brooder on this occasion and letting the broodies have another go, another time when you have more room.
     
  3. ronott1

    ronott1 A chicken will always remember the egg

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  4. LoveDatChickenLife

    LoveDatChickenLife Chirping

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    I know if you have a small coop, you either don’t have enough space, or don’t have enough money for another. If you just don’t have the money, try using chicken wire from your local feed store and add onto the coop, for more free range. Or try making a area of chicken wire with food and water, put the mama and her babies in, then put a box to sleep in?
    If space is the problem maybe try moving to a bigger area, or getting rid of some hens and babies. Sorry if this doesn’t help at all... Hope this helped!
     
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  5. Jessicx

    Jessicx Chirping

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    Thank you. It's all kinda what I was thinking. I have the new babies in the house, and the most injured one is further separated in his own brooder. I will work on moving everyone and see what happens. Thank you!!!!
     
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  6. Jessicx

    Jessicx Chirping

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    Well, actually what happened is these chickens stopped going to their coop to roost at night. I don't know why, but I just couldn't get them back in. They starting using the small one as a nesting box, and I honestly expected them to break their own broodiness because none of my other girls have gone a full 21 days. I have two large coops beside this one, so i'm going to start transferring them today. Thanks for the info!!
     
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  7. Eckielady

    Eckielady Songster

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    We have ran into this same thing. Do you have any animal travel kennels? We moved one mama into one with her eggs and she still sleeps in there with her babies at night. We also took their run and built a wall with 4x4s about a foot tall. The mamas can get over but the babies couldn't. They're getting to the point where everyone is old enough but now we've got another broody. It's all worked super well so far though.
     
  8. Jessicx

    Jessicx Chirping

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    So I transferred each mama and her nest to separate coops, save for two for whom I built separate nesting boxes. One mama keeps trying to get into the other's box, so I had to remove the new babies. Do you think is a bad idea to have two mamas in one coop with two boxes? If so, I may have no choice but to use a kennel. I usually use this kennel as a brooder, so I'm quickly running out of space.
     
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  9. Eckielady

    Eckielady Songster

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    I don't know. Ask me in about 2 weeks. I think I may have broody #6 as of tonight . I'm running out of ideas around here...ha!!
     
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  10. Jessicx

    Jessicx Chirping

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    Lol....same here!
     
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