A Tale of Two Broodies

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Sunny Side Up, Oct 31, 2008.

  1. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

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    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    In my flock are two mixed-breed bantam sisters, Cookie & Biscuit. Cookie went broody in a nest box so I swapped her little eggs for some standard-sized ones I wanted her to hatch. At about the same time her sister Biscuit disappeared, and when we found her she was setting on a nest of little eggs in a more secluded location. I didn't know how long she had been setting, and didn't have the heart to swap out these eggs she had begun on her own.

    Their eggs began hatching on the same day. Cookie stayed clamped tight on her nest for a day & a half, but Biscuit took her hatched chicks for an outing and left 2 pipping eggs cold in the nest. They were really cold to the touch on the outside, but the chicks were still peeping & picking strongly.

    I stuffed them down my shirt & tried to figure out what to do. Leave them to hatch in my bra? Rig up a brooder somehow? Borrow someone's incubator?

    Then I saw Cookie still clamped down on her nest. I set those eggs next to her and she immediately tucked them deep underneath her feathers. This morning I saw her off her nest with the 4 standard chicks she'd incubated and the 2 extra banty chicks of her sister's.

    I placed both hens' nest boxes together in one little pen for my convenience in tending to them. Cookie & Biscuit are getting along nicely with each other and all the chicks. Once they even all jammed in together in one nest box, two hens and 10 chicks. It will be interesting to see if they continue to collaborate in raising these chicks.
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  2. swtangel321

    swtangel321 ~Crazy Egg Lady~

    Jul 11, 2008
    Awwww, they all sound so sweet !! You need to get a pic of them all. It's so great they all get along and love each other !! [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  3. Bandana

    Bandana Chillin' With My Peeps

    I just love success stories. Thank you so much for sharing. [​IMG]
     
  4. keeperofthehearth

    keeperofthehearth Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oohhh, how sweet! Hopefully they will continue getting along and sharing the responsibililty of all those chicks. [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Congrats on the new additions to your flock!
     
  5. shelleyd2008

    shelleyd2008 the bird is the word

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    Sep 14, 2008
    Adair Co., KY
    That is so sweet! Banties are such good mamas!
     
  6. Chickenaddict

    Chickenaddict Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 19, 2008
    East Bethel MN
    Awww how cute!!!! congrats on the babies and getting 2 broodies to share a clutch. I also would love to see pics [​IMG]
     
  7. FisherMOM

    FisherMOM Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 7, 2008
    Bergen, NY
    how sweet! Can you take any pictures?
     
  8. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

    4,726
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    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    I will try to get the pictures posted here. Last night Cookie & Biscuit were each in their separate nest boxes, one on each end of the little pen they're sharing. What was interesting to find is that the 2 bantam chicks of Biscuit's that Cookie finished hatching were back under Biscuit's wings.

    And while observing them all today I noticed that sometimes the hens would peck at the chicks that weren't their own, but other times they'd let them stay near while scratching up food. They would never peck at their own chicks.

    How do they know which are their own chicks? My theory is that they get to know each other's voices while they're incubating & especially those last few days when they're pipping & hatching. Maybe Biscuit's chicks remembered her voice & the sound of their siblings and that's why those 2 chicks went back to her.
     
  9. Quail_Antwerp

    Quail_Antwerp [IMG]emojione/assets/png/2665.png?v=2.2.7[/IMG]Mrs

    Aug 16, 2008
    Ohio
    That is so sweet!! [​IMG] Thank you for sharing with us!
     
  10. shelleyd2008

    shelleyd2008 the bird is the word

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    Sep 14, 2008
    Adair Co., KY
    It is funny how they seem to know which are which. I had a hen that had a total of 18 chicks, some that she hatched and some form the incubator. Another hen at the same time had 13, same situation. Neither of the hens had their 'own' chicks, they were all mixed up, and in my opinion they all looked the same. But that little hen would have a fit if one of the other hen's chicks was near her babies!
     

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