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Are the other hens and rooster a threat to hatching eggs?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Rhondax6, Jul 8, 2011.

  1. Rhondax6

    Rhondax6 Songster

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    We have one bantam sitting on 4 eggs that, according to my calculation, should hatch any day (this is our first time). Are the four other hens and one rooster a threat to the babies?
     

  2. Tiss

    Tiss Songster

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    I was worried about that too. I had 3 chicks. 2 died - failure to thrive. Mama is very protective of the last one and the other chickens essentially ignore the chick.
     
  3. Rhondax6

    Rhondax6 Songster

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    Awww I'm sorry you lost two [​IMG] Good luck with the third! Mine is just a bitty hen, I could bring her inside the house for a bit while the babies grow if there might be a problem in the coop.
     
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

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    They are living things and anything can happen. There are no guarantees with any living thing.

    Hens have been raising chicks with the flock for thousands of years. Usually it goes fine. Sometimes bad things happen. Each situation is unique, each chicken has its own personality, and each flock has its own dynamics. I'm sorry I can't be more precise with what will happen with yours, but I really don't know.

    I will mention that a broody has 7 three day old chicks in with my flock right now.
     
  5. Judy

    Judy Crowing Premium Member

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    I've had 5 or 6 broodies raise chicks in with the rest of the flock. In some cases they were separated for a day or two but mostly they hatched right in the coop.

    That's not to say it's 100% safe, of course. Mamas are normally very protective, but you can never predict how an individual will act.

    Bringing them in the house will create the primary situation I wanted to avoid, namely trying to reintroduce what to them will then be strangers. This will likely be a problem for the mama as a lone hen but even worse for the chicks. The mama will usually mother and protect the chicks for only 4 or 5 weeks. They will need another 3 months or so to get full size. Mine have always known how to avoid anything serious on their own, by staying together, though they are low in the pecking order, and they have a large coop and maybe 70' x 70' yard to escape in. If raised separately, I believe most people keep the chicks in a separate "grow out pen" til full size when the mama wants to stop mothering and go back to the flock.
     

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