Brooding hen with other hens

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by HomespunHen, Nov 18, 2014.

  1. HomespunHen

    HomespunHen Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 16, 2014
    North East Arkansas
    I have a Silkie hen who has been sitting on 9 eggs it will be 21 days Sunday. I was going to move her but she moved her nest of eggs to an area of the coop I can't reach. She has 2 other hens in the coop with her, another silkie and a frizzle. The issue is the other two hens have not left her side since she went broody. I've even caught the frizzle helping sit on the eggs. I'd rather leave her and the chicks in this coop but worry the other two hens will kill the chicks. Could all three hens be sharing this batch of chicks and raise them together. I've not seen the other silkie on the nest but she does not leave the Brody's side. I've had to move feed and water into the coop and do a lot of cleaning since they are all in there 24 hrs a day. Or is this something I will probably have to just wait and see as they hatch. Thank you.
     
  2. seagirl

    seagirl Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 9, 2013
    i wish I could help but I have a similar problem and am also looking for advice. I have a hen setting on about 12 eggs and every time she gets off for even a few minutes another hen comes in and scatters the eggs all around the henhouse. sometimes I even see her setting on the eggs the first one is until she comes in and pushes her off. I have totally lost track of how long its been since more eggs are put there and then eggs gets pushed out by miss busy body. how long should I let this go on before I just take all the eggs and let her start over? shes so broody and im afraid shell lose it if I mess with her.
     
  3. iwiw60

    iwiw60 Overrun With Chickens

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    Since you're up against piping with those eggs, you're better off just leaving her where she is. And even after hatching! Trust me, that silkie broody will protect her chicks, and it sounds like she has them in a good safe place. Just take a deep breath and trust that your broody will 'take care of business' ... they usually do! I wish you all the best and please let us know if you get chicks...pics would be nice![​IMG]
     
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  4. Aphrael

    Aphrael Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 21, 2013
    Texas
    I have a handful of bantams that always co-brood and I have NEVER had a problem with them fighting over eggs or chicks. They just work together to set the eggs and to raise the chicks. Since these hens have chosen to set together, I don't think you're going to have any troubles. If none have ever brooded before you'll just have to watch them and see how good of mothers they make. I've read that silkies are usually phenomenal moms. Good luck!

    It sounds as if you are going to have no choice but to separate them somehow so that the destructive one cannot get to the broody and mess with her eggs. If she goes out of her way to scatter the eggs, as it sounds like you're describing, there is also a chance she could try to injure any chicks that hatch as well. Personally, I cull any hens with behavior like that. I don't want to propagate that in my flock. For the eggs, I would suggest candling them to see if they are alive and growing, and try to determine what day they are at if they are. Here is a link to a wonderful resource to compare your eggs to.
    http://www.metzerfarms.com/candling.cfm
     
  5. HomespunHen

    HomespunHen Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 16, 2014
    North East Arkansas
    Thanks yall! I've been lucky other than her moving the entire nest that first week no eggs have been moved or taken. The other two hens never leave her side they were the same before she went broody. If they were free ranging they were always right up against her no more than a foot away at most. I'm just surprised they haven't left the coop that I've seen this entire time. Both silkies raised babies before I got them with no issues the former owner said. The frizzle I'm not sure of she is an older chicken and hasn't laid an egg in over two months. I know she helps sit on the eggs but jumps off the next if I look in.
    I'm going to leave them in there and just check like crazy after day 19 cause I read sometimes silkies hatch earlier. I will have to move them all out of the coop after they hatch as it's about 2 ft off the ground with a ramp. But I think I will just make their next under the coop in the same pen with the other hens if they aren't bothering her. Otherwise I got another coop and run to use. I hope since they aren't bothering her now they can all stay in the same coop.
    I will take pics if they hatch to post.
     
  6. HomespunHen

    HomespunHen Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 16, 2014
    North East Arkansas
    Do you think of I left them up in the coop 2 ft ramp that if one went down she could get it back up? Or would it be best to move all of them down? If yall think she can get them in and out up that ramp I will leave them.
     
  7. iwiw60

    iwiw60 Overrun With Chickens

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    For the first few days on up to a week or so that mama hen will keep her chicks right where she wants them...close. In fact you'll probably see her peck at them occasionally...this is just mom saying 'no!'. Just play it by ear and you should be fine.
     
  8. HomespunHen

    HomespunHen Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 16, 2014
    North East Arkansas
    Thank you! I feel like a first time mom worrying so much.:)
     
  9. Aphrael

    Aphrael Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Texas
    If the ramp isn't too steep or slick, then yes mama should be able to show them how to get up and down. You'll be amazed at how much mama can teach them to do and how fast they learn it. I have seen broodies showing babies how to use the ramp before and it is super cute. She walks up the ramp clucking, and if they don't get it right off she'll jump down and then go back to the end and walk up clucking again. She does this until they catch on and follow her up.
     
  10. seagirl

    seagirl Out Of The Brooder

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    thank you so much for this advice, I will candle all the eggs tomorrow and go from there!
    thanks again
    '
     

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