5 Broody hens. Need advice. First time broody.


11 Years
Oct 14, 2008
Moulton Iowa
I have a broody sizzle, silkie, and 3 cochins. Sizzle has 2 days left...if they hatch. She left the nest a lot during the middle.
My cochins are half way there and my silkie just started.
Will the chicks be ok with the rest of the flock or do I seperate them?
Also my 2 broodies that have been laying the longest are losing all their feathers on their chest. Is that normal?
I'm so excited I can't wait. I don't know what I'll do with all these babies.
I only gave each bird 5 eggs.
Thanks! Tess
I would separate the chicks from the flock, just as a precaution. Older birds have been known to peck them and kill them, though mine didn't mess with them.

The missing feathers is normal. If you notice, you may see some scattered around the nest area. This is natural. The mothers pluck their breast feathers to line the nest and help keep the eggs warm.
I guess I'll have to get to work on my little room I've been wanting to get finished. They will still be in the area just blocked off with wire.
You are going to have so much fun with your chicks and broody! My Cochin is on her 3rd time setting and they just started hatching 2 hrs. ago!!! I can hear them and saw a little face peek out. Cochin's make wonderful mom's except they go broody often if mine are the norm. I was not expecting this hatch, she surprised me with 18 eggs under her. I culled to 14 of them. Be sure to do a lot of "chicken TV" as they call it (watching your chicks) as they are so much fun copying mom and fighting over worms, etc. I put up some wire to separate mom & chicks from rest of flock at night and during the day when they all go out, I close them out and leave mom to have the coop and pen for her and the babies. I'm afraid either predators or the larger hens might peck them until they are bigger. My friend lets his all intermix and they do fine but I would worry too much. I will let them intermix at about 6-8 wks. That's the way I do it. Don't forget the starter feed for those little ones when they arrive. Sharon:yiipchick
A lot depends on your setup, how much room you have, and the individual hens. If he hen has enough room to work, she will normally protect her chicks from the other hens. If you raise the chicks with the flock, Mama will take care of most integration issues. It's not to say that bad things don't occasionally occur. They do, but if Mama has enough room to work, she normally does fine.

What I 'd watch for, especially with the Cochins, is when a hen has a brood, she will sometimes try to take other chicks from other broodies. It could happen even with a week and a half difference with the others but with the Cochins all hatching together, they are especially at risk. When this happens, the hens fight. Chicks can get hurt during this fighting. Some people have hens that hatch together work very well together raising the chicks. Some have hens that will try to kill the chicks of other hens instead of taking them to raise. Some hens totally ignore another hen's chicks. You are dealing with living creatures way high on hormones. There is no way of knowing how they will react.

I'd suggest having a plan for whatever might happen. You may cruise through with no problems. I really hope so. You may need to take the chicks and raise them in a brooder. I really hope not. You may give all the Cochin's chicks to one Cochin and break the other two from being broody. Could work. You may need to separate the various broods with hens. A lot of pens. Maybe some with the flock and some isolated. I do wish you luck but want to make you aware of things that could happen so you can be on the watch for them.

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