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Broody hen fail

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Heatherschicks1, Apr 22, 2016.

  1. Heatherschicks1

    Heatherschicks1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 18, 2014
    I have always incubated my eggs but when I acquired some bantams and had not as much use for the eggs I ended up with a broody hen. She hatched one chick!! Super exciting... Until it vanished... I raise all of the bantams together in a very safe coop so didn't feel it was a preditor. By this point 3 other hens had gon broody as well all bundled up sharing responsibility of the eggs. I would check them pull pout bad ones. Two other hens joined in and started laying on the next set of eggs.. So here I am I thought awesome!!! They started to hatch.... But every time I found them they were dead... [​IMG]... The hens were killing them?? What?? Broody but don't want the babies??? What the heck is going on?? I have rescued a few catching them when they are about to hatch putting them in a nice ready incubator and has worked well. But I only did that after they killed like 4.. With so many broody hens I figured when some started to hatch one would take the new babies the others would wait for the next hatch... And here I thought then hens doing the work was easier lol.
     
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Some first time hens have no idea what's going on, add in multiple hens in one spot and your hens are playing the what heck is that? It ain't mine. I've experienced this. Also if there are hens that aren't broody they will kill any chicks that wander, the mom won't get off the nest for the first day after hatching to retrieve or defend her chicks, plus a staggered hatch is always a disaster. Using a broody can be easy if you set them up not to fail.

    Next time mark all eggs at the initial set and remove anymore that are added, towards hatching day or on it separate out the hen by putting a wire ring or pen around her, if she's brooding in a nest box be prepared to relocate them after most hatch. Keep mom and chicks separated by a fence for two weeks to give the chicks some time to grow and get strong enough to get away from the other hens.
     
  3. Heatherschicks1

    Heatherschicks1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I had started to make a screen to block off where they were but the other hen went almost a week with her baby so I figured why not... they didn't do that last time... I also made sure I was watching how the eggs were developing pulling out younger ones trying to put them all around the same hatch day... for the most part I was spot on... the hatching lasted for 3 days... I saved some they killed the rest... they have an entire other set of eggs right now so trying to problem solve before they hatch
     
  4. thebulg

    thebulg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    From what i've read, this isn't a trend you can expect to break. Apparently homicidal hens are almost always that way, every hatch. If you are willing to risk more babies, you could experiment. Each time a mom goes broody, get her into her own individual spot to sit and hatch and raise. With any luck, in a safe, isolated environment,one of the moms will develop a motherly instinct and you can see which one can be trusted, if any of them can, and then only let that hen have eggs when she goes broody. I am so sorry about the babies being killed. That's tough to deal with!
     
  5. Heatherschicks1

    Heatherschicks1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Won't lie I called out bad mommas when I found them .. and it's weird they are crazy protective of the eggs you would have thought they would have been just as protective of the hatchlings
     

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