5 hens 1 nest box

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Brooks 76, Apr 12, 2019.

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  1. Brooks 76

    Brooks 76 In the Brooder

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    Apr 12, 2019
    So, my chickens live in a small 3 sided barn that was here when we bought the property. It has 3 large nest boxes that were already there, too. The boxes are big enough for 2 hens to sit side by side with plenty room.
    5 hens have decided they are going to share the same box whether I like it or not. I didn't realize 4 of them were even broody until I cracked an egg from a different box and got a bowl full of embryo! As of 2 days ago, 4 hens have set up in 1 box and today the fifth has insisted on that box too. She left her clutch and sat in the crowded box. I moved her back twice then gave up and moved her eggs. Three (at least) chicks hatched today, they run around underneath the hens and pop up periodically, but i have no idea who's they are.

    My question is will this arrangement become a problem and, if so, what should I do?

    How can i upload a pic from my phone?
     
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  2. Melky

    Melky Spring has sprung!

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    My Coop
    When you post after entering your comments just click on upload a file and choose a photo on your camera roll or photo gallery. Upload as thumbnail small or entire photo size bigger.
     
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  3. Brooks 76

    Brooks 76 In the Brooder

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    Apr 12, 2019
    It says not enough memory to complete the action or something like that.
     
  4. Brooks 76

    Brooks 76 In the Brooder

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    Apr 12, 2019
    Got it! Here's a pic of the 5 hens. The chicks are running around underneath. IMG_20190412_164855.jpg
     
  5. Hi and welcome!
    Watch the hens to make sure they do not fight over the chicks. Small chicks could get injured during a scuffle.
    I recommend in the future, gather your eggs every day.
    If you want a broody to hatch chicks, confine her away from the others to avoid stagered batch. (Not all eggs hatching at the same time)
    Keep in mind half of the chicks your hens hatch out will be roosters. Do you have a plan for excess roosters?
     
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  6. Brooks 76

    Brooks 76 In the Brooder

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    Apr 12, 2019
    Yeah, I've been a bit lax in gathering eggs. They've been laying more than we eat!

    I didn't realize any but one of the black ones were broody which seems odd, the egg i cracked was in a box I've never seen a chicken sitting on.

    This was an "unplanned pregnancy " so no preparation. So far, though, they seem docile and accommodating of the chicks. The cooperation is weird, all 5 of them peck at me when I reach in.

    Roosters will be turned out to free range and roost in a "bachelor pad" until big enough to cook.
     
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  7. Brooks 76

    Brooks 76 In the Brooder

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    Apr 12, 2019
    Update: 6 chicks hatched last weekend. One died 2 days later, don't know why, it was kind of weak from the beginning. 3 hens (2 black and one white )have left the eggs to raise these 5 chicks. They squabble from time to time, black vs white, over access to sitting on the chicks but nothing serious. Chicks seem healthy and active.

    The other 2 hens kept sitting and each hatched one today. We'll see how they do.
     
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  8. ChooksNQuilts

    ChooksNQuilts Free Ranging

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    I have two that went broody together and I gave them 4 eggs which I marked with a permanent marker.
    Any other eggs laid in there were removed.
    When the eggs started hatching I had to move them because the nest boxes are too high up for the chicks to get out of.
    All four hatched and are doing well.
    Both broodys are raising them together and doing a good job.
    26F529A8-029D-43C1-BA53-601845677B6A.jpeg
     
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  9. Brooks 76

    Brooks 76 In the Brooder

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    Apr 12, 2019
    That's good to hear.
     
  10. ChooksNQuilts

    ChooksNQuilts Free Ranging

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    I spoke too soon because after 11 days DH told me that the white broody, Bootsie, was attacking the Japanese broody, Itsy.
    Bootsie is being extremely aggressive towards Itsy now and I think I’m going to have to separate each of them with two chicks apiece in separate areas. :barnie
     
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