Broody hatched eggs —help!

bhawk-23

Songster
Apr 12, 2020
255
284
106
East Central Illinois (Urbana, IL)
I did a mix. I gave mama and babies their own space inside the run and allowed them few days alone in the run. The hens and babies could always hear and see each other though. After that they have free ranged together all day. In the evening mama and babies head to their own space while the hens go to roost. It's worked out well for us!!
 

upstater

Chirping
Mar 23, 2017
48
45
66
!!!!!!!!Update!!!!!!!

so it’s been a week and I have 4week old chicks and a great Momma hen! She is fiercely protective and a great teacher. It’sso cute to see the littles out in the run with her scratching and pecking away. They chirp louder as they get colder and she comes running back to sit on them. I was worried for nothing, she’s doing a great job and the rest of the flock doesn’t seem bothered at all.

next problem..... broody number 2’s eggs are ready to hatch any day now! What should I do? Will they mother the chicks together? Should I take broody 2 chicks away ???? Ugh I read so many horrible articles about hens killing each other’s chicks.... any advice?
 

SBFChickenGirl

Crowing
Nov 12, 2018
3,760
14,920
481
!!!!!!!!Update!!!!!!!

so it’s been a week and I have 4week old chicks and a great Momma hen! She is fiercely protective and a great teacher. It’sso cute to see the littles out in the run with her scratching and pecking away. They chirp louder as they get colder and she comes running back to sit on them. I was worried for nothing, she’s doing a great job and the rest of the flock doesn’t seem bothered at all.

next problem..... broody number 2’s eggs are ready to hatch any day now! What should I do? Will they mother the chicks together? Should I take broody 2 chicks away ???? Ugh I read so many horrible articles about hens killing each other’s chicks.... any advice?
I had this same problem. Two broodies at the same time.
But here's how I handled it. Not saying it will work for you, but maybe you can use some of it.

I kept them separate until chicks could run around, and were growing feathers, maybe 4 weeks or so. Then I was able to put chicks and moms together. There was pecking between different moms and chicks, but they figured it out and no one died.
 

gothicpicasso

Chirping
Nov 19, 2020
53
112
63
LA (Lower Alabama)
I just hatched some eggs under a broody. My hatch didn’t go so great. I won’t give the details, you can read my post if you want. For me from now on I’ll be screening momma hen in on hatch day. That way no one can get to her or her babies. I’ve also, now separated the new family from the flock in their own dog kennel inside the coop. Not sure what to do with two momma hens, but I think I’d keep them with the flock in the coop but inside their own separate enclosures. Of course my coop would get pretty cramped with two kennels. Of course you don’t really know how they will react until it happens. It could all be fine, but I’m not taking chances anymore. Hope your hens all get along and you can enjoy two little families around the coop.
 

upstater

Chirping
Mar 23, 2017
48
45
66
Update 2— Help
Well I went out yesterday and my broody #2 had a newly hatched chick under her and 4 eggs. I went to work thinking all would be fine and came home to chick gone along with shell she hatched from. Looked all over for baby chick and nothing. Broody #1 still has her 4 baby chicks and the rest of the flock leaves them alone! Any ideas what happened????? So upset to think she may have ate the chick and shell... headed out to coop this morning and I’m terrified to think what I may find. Should I pull chicks from her if there are any? I need to go to work again today..... 😩😩😩
 

bobbi-j

Enabler
Mar 15, 2010
15,285
30,580
1,052
On the MN prairie.
If you can, put a barrier between the nest and the rest of the flock. That’s what I would do, anyway. Is it possible that something got into the coop? A snake or rat, maybe? They don’t need a very big hole to get in. I doubt the rest of the flock did anything to them.
 

gothicpicasso

Chirping
Nov 19, 2020
53
112
63
LA (Lower Alabama)
If nothing happened with the other chicks when they hatched then it’s probably not the rest of the flock. However, this broody may not be as good of a momma as your first one. She may not be the best at protecting them or chasing off other hens. I’m gonna second the barrier. I wish I had known to do that when my eggs started hatching just last week. One of my hens didn’t like the chicks being in a nest she liked to use. It wasn’t great. If I’d have had hardware cloth around the nest then at least one of the chicks I lost could have been saved. Maybe two. And I have a third egg that was under her the day before hatch that I can’t account for. So I’ve learned that I need to protect my broody on hatch day. I’d also watch them when you get the chance to see how everyone is interacting. See how momma hen is acting and if she’s protecting the chicks from the other hens. And if any of the hens are being aggressive at all.
 

upstater

Chirping
Mar 23, 2017
48
45
66
I don’t think it’s other predators like a mouse snake or rat I’ve seen any evidence of them. Wouldn’t they have attacked the other 4 baby chicks and what about the empty shell? I really think it may be her.... do they eat their own??? God I feel horrible for that baby chick!!! The rest of the flock truly seems to be oblivious of the broodys and chicks! Broody #1 is viscous if another chicken even come near her chicks. I wish I had a camera in the coop.., or maybe not if they’re eating their own
 

EmmaRainboe

💙Ameraucana Spell Checker💜
Premium Feather Member
Jul 30, 2020
4,330
23,858
566
Bainbridge Island Washington
I don’t think it’s other predators like a mouse snake or rat I’ve seen any evidence of them. Wouldn’t they have attacked the other 4 baby chicks and what about the empty shell? I really think it may be her.... do they eat their own??? God I feel horrible for that baby chick!!! The rest of the flock truly seems to be oblivious of the broodys and chicks! Broody #1 is viscous if another chicken even come near her chicks. I wish I had a camera in the coop.., or maybe not if they’re eating their own
It might be smart to put one. Just incase it happens again.
 

gothicpicasso

Chirping
Nov 19, 2020
53
112
63
LA (Lower Alabama)
I don’t think it’s other predators like a mouse snake or rat I’ve seen any evidence of them. Wouldn’t they have attacked the other 4 baby chicks and what about the empty shell? I really think it may be her.... do they eat their own??? God I feel horrible for that baby chick!!! The rest of the flock truly seems to be oblivious of the broodys and chicks! Broody #1 is viscous if another chicken even come near her chicks. I wish I had a camera in the coop.., or maybe not if they’re eating their own
My experience is limited but I have read of mommas killing chicks. I’ve also read of momma pecking eggs right before hatch. I’ve never experienced that. I did have one of my bantam chicks freak out and start attacking the nest with the chicks. I came I. In the morning to check things and found one chick in a different nest, a just hatched chick not under momma and other things. The other bantam was going at the nest with momma still in it. Momma was doing nothing. She had been fairly protective up until then. I wound up kicking everyone out of the coop except for momma. She was just in a trance and not responding to anything really. That’s the only reason I suggested it could be another chicken. If broody #1 is really protective then she may have prevented anyone from getting her babies. The other one might not be that good at mothering. Of course I don’t know. Just offering possibilities. Did any more hatch? And are they ok? I’m sorry you lost a chick.
 

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