Broodies sharing a nest

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by slayden, Aug 31, 2010.

  1. slayden

    slayden In the Brooder

    Apr 13, 2010
    Black Earth, WI
    Hi guys!
    I've recently had two hens decide to go broody at the same time and in the same nest box. At first I thought it was kind of cute that they took turns sitting on the eggs whenever the other got up and they both defend the nest from other curious fowl. It's gotten to the point however where they are actively stealing eggs from each other in what seems like a contest to see who can sit on more eggs. They still get along very well and it's funny to see one steal a stray egg that has been nudged out from under the other.

    My question is this: will this lead to problems as the eggs begin to hatch? I know some some animal mothers will kill the offspring of others and I'm worried that when chicks begin to hatch there will be hell to pay in that nest. Or maybe something positive will happen and one will begin raising the chicks that hatch while the other collects and sits on the remaining eggs.

    The other thing I was curious about is what will happen when the eggs actually begin to hatch? I've never had a broody actually hatch her own eggs before. Both hens have continued to lay through the duration of the incubation, as the pile of eggs under each has grown to a good two dozen per hen. Obvious the eggs that have incubated for the entire two weeks will hatch in about a week but will the hen continue to sit on the remaining eggs while the chicks are around or will she take the chicks and leave the nest right away?

    Thanks for any answers!

  2. featherbaby

    featherbaby Songster

    Jun 18, 2009
    Jacksonville, FL 32210
    I've got two silkies on the same nest (in a basket) and was wondering what they will do when the babies start to hatch. Will they fight over them? The sides of the basket are too high for babies to get out, and it's so small I'm afraid the mothers will trample them. What do I do and at what stage? Like you Slayden, this is my (and my hens) first attempt at broody hatching. They are so cute, between the two they spread out their wings and fill up the entire basket. They're on 13 eggs and can just barely cover them. I thought hens stopped laying once they started incubating in earnest.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by