ForeverFactor

Chirping
Apr 24, 2016
37
41
79
I have a pullet who went broody and I gave her 7 eggs to hatch. She has been quite diligent and I noticed today while gathering eggs added to the best that one of the eggs has cracked and a chick is hatching. This is great but the pullet that was sitting on the nest got kicked off today and one of my 5 year old hens is now sitting on it and seems like she intends to hatch them out. My question is should I try to return the nest to it's rightful owner? Will the new hen mother the chicks just as well if I let her keep them or is there any danger that she might harm then since she wasn't there for the whole process. The original broody being stubborn but lower on the totem pole moved on to another nest so I could theoretically move the eggs back to her. What would y'all do in this situation?
 

CluckerFamily

Crowing
Feb 14, 2016
1,805
3,932
281
Wisconsin
When I have a broody hen, I always move her into a crate so that she can peacefully and successfully hatch her batch.
How old it the original broody hen?
I'm wondering if she is too young and gave up so the older broody jumped in.
But watch those babies closely. There may be more drama and there may be chick casualties either by the older hen or the original broody hen.
 

ForeverFactor

Chirping
Apr 24, 2016
37
41
79
The original is quite young 6 months so just a pullet. The older hen is one of my two first hens and is 5 years old. She has shown a desire to be broody in the past but this is the first year I have had a rooster. As far as pecking order goes I'm pretty sure she is second in the flock so she would definitely give the baby/babies more protection if she really does want to raise them. I blocked her off from the rest of the flock for now with the nest in place just in case there does end up being some sort of altercation.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
Nov 27, 2012
86,074
101,930
1,727
SW Michigan
My Coop
Are you sure the crack is a chick hatching.....she's been setting for ~21 days?
Haven't had any problems with other birds getting in to the broody nest previously?
 

ForeverFactor

Chirping
Apr 24, 2016
37
41
79
Definitely a chick hatching the hole is big enough to see the beak and hear the clear sound of peeping.
 

ForeverFactor

Chirping
Apr 24, 2016
37
41
79
So an update I just went outside the new broody who took over is still on the nest and I can see that it looks like at least that one egg has hatched all the way and I can hear the chick peeping underneath her but she isn't letting me see it at all. My pullet who did all the work seems a bit flustered but had gotten off the other nest and had joined the rest of the flock this morning for a stroll. It remains to be seen if she doesn't try to come back and find something to sit on. I'm happy to let my 5 year old cuckoo maran do the mothering work and so far it's looking good. At least it sounds like we have a live chick with her.
 

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