Advice, please - let her out or not?

triala

Songster
6 Years
May 10, 2015
25
34
107
Hiya, advice appreciated for this situation! I have a broody who hatches 3 chicks, now just over 5 weeks old. First time I have had a successful broody - other chicks have been the incubator method. They still sleep in one nestbox together, and when I went to pick one up a couple of days ago she got fluffed up and very aggressive. Did not attack, but I think she would have done. She is in a portable coop, which is next to the main enclosure with my other hens and the cockerel.

When I go anywhere near them, give them attention or treats, she is quite busily/frantically pacing up and down the side of the portable coop/run, low voices fussing/almost growling (but not the borrdy noise) wanting to be there with them it seems. She does get her own treats etc - but seems keen to get with the others. However, she is still looking after the chicks at night.

Would you say it is worth getting her out and putting with the main lot? The problem then would be how would they cope without her (I assume they would!). Do not think we would easily get her back in in the evenings - would it be worth it?

Not been in this situation before!
 

slordaz

hatchaholic
5 Years
Apr 15, 2015
3,456
6,393
602
Idaho
I let my broodies out with their chicks from the git go as they teach them when they want to, they will integrate the chicks into your flock and will make sure they are are warm enough. keep an eye on them for a bit, but even a rooster is smart enough to not piss a broody hen off with her chicks, and it's good socialization skills for the flock and the chicks
 

Farmgirl1878

Crowing
Premium Feather Member
Mar 17, 2017
880
1,934
287
Piketon, Ohio
Me too @slordaz, I never separated my broody even when she was sitting (of course she was the alpha hen). So from the time they hatched, the Chicklets were part of the flock. It worked really well for me. In contrast tho, one of the lowest ranking hens got broody and the other girls kept chasing her out of the nestbox. Next time, I’ll know that she needs to be segregated until she hatches her brood.
 

slordaz

hatchaholic
5 Years
Apr 15, 2015
3,456
6,393
602
Idaho
Me too @slordaz, I never separated my broody even when she was sitting (of course she was the alpha hen). So from the time they hatched, the Chicklets were part of the flock. It worked really well for me. In contrast tho, one of the lowest ranking hens got broody and the other girls kept chasing her out of the nestbox. Next time, I’ll know that she needs to be segregated until she hatches her brood.
that's weird, my rooster makes sure the other hens aren't trying to bother any of the hens wanting to brood but he only had 8 hens to deal with too. The bad thing is when they try to community brood one nest that never ends well, so I tend to put the broody in a dog kennel in the coop and let her out a 2-3 times a day until she hatches , then leave her in for a day or 2 so if theres any stragglers has worked best so don't have to set the brooder up as I've had eggs hatch 2 days late that had gotten a bit cooler for some reason, if I don't have time to take care of a baby chick or 2 or when she hataches I will open the door and let her do her thing. Usually broodies are pretty good but have had one she loved to brood just didn't like raising them so I take her chicks away from her so she doesn't kill them.
 

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