Broody chicks

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Dutchchick, Nov 16, 2012.

  1. Dutchchick

    Dutchchick New Egg

    Nov 16, 2012
    I've successfully raised 3 chicks from our own chicken in an incubator, but now two of my big chickens are broody and each are sitting on two eggs. We've always taken the eggs, but decided to let nature takes its course and give the girls the chance to do it them selves.. I've marked the eggs they can keep to sit on. They are in the coop with the other non broody chickens, we have 5 all up and a rooster. Should I separate them, let them be or separate them when the chicks have hatched, or not at all? Any ideas or suggestions? We're going towards summer (i live in Australia) so weather/ cold wont be an issue.
  2. Animol

    Animol Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 8, 2012
    I'd seperate them once the eggs hatch, if you move them now the hens might stop being broody. It's a good idea to have a small coop for mum and chicks because she might stress out around the other chickens and the non-broodies will be pecking at something new (chicks).
  3. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    I do the opposite with mine. I separate while they are sitting and til the chicks are a couple days old and wanting to run around, then I put them all together. This way when mama quits mothering them (in 4 or 5 weeks, usually) the flock is already used to the chicks. I've also let the broody sit on the eggs while in with the rest of the flock. I've had some chicks hatch this way, but sometimes the mama returns to the wrong nest after getting up for her once a day outing, sometimes the eggs get moved around, stolen or cracked, etc. So far I haven't had a problem with young chicks being in with the flock, though of course it can happen. The mama keeps others away from the chicks -- and sometimes the roo helps watch out for the chicks.

    In your situation, I probably wouldn't separate now because, as the other poster said, moving a broody can cause her to stop setting. If you do move them and one stops, though, at least you have another who could certainly take the other eggs, at least if you set them all about the same time. If you decide to move them while setting, I'd do it early in the night and I'd move as much of the nest (at least the litter) as possible along with her. I did move a broody successfully once when she was setting in a plastic bin, so I could just pick up her and the bin at once.
  4. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

    Jun 28, 2011
    Rep of Ireland
    I agree with the above: don't move the broodies before the eggs hatch. I've tried it a few times and had very little success. Rather wait and see how your other chickens react to the new chicks. My chickens, unfortunately, attacked the newborn chicks, so I separated moms and babies as soon as they hatched and introduced them to the rest of the flock when the chicks were a little bit older and stronger.
  5. Dutchchick

    Dutchchick New Egg

    Nov 16, 2012
    Thanks all for your suggestions. I've decided to let them be and see what happens. The two broody hens 'jobshare' when one has a break the other stays back and sits on all the eggs, and vice versa. How good is that. They are very protective, chase the other hens and bird life away from the coop. Hopefully it will all work out. Ill keep an closer eye on them around the time the egss will be hatching (2 weeks) to see how the other hens react, otherwise the adolescent chick can join the flock and new mamma's can be separated.. Thanks!
  6. Dutchchick

    Dutchchick New Egg

    Nov 16, 2012
    Two of the eggs have hatched and I've separated both broody mums, the two chicks and the last egg from the others. They seem to just continue with what they were doing before.
  7. jak2002003

    jak2002003 Overrun With Chickens

    Oct 24, 2009
    I always leave mine where they are. Sometime 2 mother hens will share their broods in they are the same age, they chicks get 2 mothers to protect them.

    Never had any problems with hens or roosters (I have 4 rooster) attacking the new hatched chicks.

    I even have baskets that the hens lay the eggs in, and they sometimes go broody in them. I can move the baskets anywhere in the coop or run and the mother hens never abandon the eggs.

    I even had a broody make her next in a basket in an area of full strong sun. I would move here basket away from the sun in the morning to the other side of the coop, and in the evening put it back where it was. She always knew where her 'mobile' nest was, and she hatched out all her eggs just fine.

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