Broody Hen in Coop how do I manage the others?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Flybybirds, Nov 13, 2013.

  1. Flybybirds

    Flybybirds Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a feather footed Maran Hen that has gone broody on me. Nice but I know she will do her job rather well. It's just will I?
    She is in a coop with a Rooster and six other hens. The hen house has six laying boxes and she has chosen one that, thank the Lord, no other hen is using. When the chicks hatch what now. I have searched the forum and really can't find an answer. Will the other hens kill the chicks? What should I do when they hatch? Will I have a behavior problem? All get along well but they have never seen chicks!!!!
     
  2. donnavee

    donnavee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I had my first 2 broody hens this year and this was my experience. I tried moving the 1st to a small coop we call the "peep house" but she refused. We didn't have a Roo so I had bought fertile eggs for her to hatch. Thankfully, they were cheap as other chickens would jump in the nest box when she got off and of the 6 we started with all eventually were broken except for 2 which hatched. She wouldn't budge from the nest for 2 days and I rarely saw the chicks as they stayed under her most of the time. On the 3rd day, one of the chicks jumped or fell out of the nest so I moved the family to the peep house which has a small run. After about 2 weeks she decided it was time to take them out to meet the flock and she did an excellent job of protecting them. She played Mama for 6 weeks and by that time they mingled pretty well with the others.

    With the 2nd broody, I was able to move her and the eggs to the peep house right away so I didn't have a problem with the other hens bothering her. She hatched 3 chicks and like the other broody introduced them to the flock at about 2 weeks. She actually played Mama for 12 weeks so they were pretty much grown before she left them. They mingle well with the other chickens but I still let them sleep separately for now.

    The 1st hen hatched 2 little girls, but the 2nd hatched 2 boys and one girl. One of the Roosters crowed for the 1st time today.

    In your situation I think I would be worried about the Rooster but then I hear about some Roos taking care of chicks so who knows.

    Good luck.
     
  3. I usually let my broody hens sit where they want to hatch. Then I separate the hen and her chicks from the flock. The hen will protect them. Once I decided to separate then let the chicks eat get a bit stronger, waited about a week. I let them meet through a fence for about 4 days, then put them with there mom in the coop with the grown chickens.
    Good Luck!
     
  4. MyPetNugget

    MyPetNugget Enjoying the cold!!!

    I agree with roostersandhens .
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2013
  5. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    I let my broody stay with the flock. While she's setting, I do check under her every other day or so and remove any extra eggs that have been added to her clutch, that avoids partially developed chicks [​IMG] My experience has always been the momma hen lets everyone else know to leave her babies alone, and the hens do. As the chicks get older, the other hens will remind them they're little punks that need to respect their elders, and that's okay, it's good for the chicks to learn and momma lets the other ladies teach them that. I've never, ever had a rooster be aggressive to or kill a chick, that would be a one way dinner invitation for the rooster. My roosters are usually protective and solicitous of the broody and chicks.

    I fine letting the hen raise the chicks in the flock prevents integration problems later, the babies grow up in the flock and there's no problems.
     
  6. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

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    I too leave my broody hen exactly where she wants to be. I tried a couple of times moving them, and they would move back, leaving the eggs, and I would lose all. My nest boxes are small, so I don't really have too much trouble with extra eggs.

    I think the dangerous time is at the point of hatching. Sometimes an earlier hatching chick, will start to explore, and without the protection of mama, who is still clamped on the nest, the layers will attack.

    However, as we are going into colder days, I think that the chicks will stay under mama pretty darn good, so that might not be a problem. Once the chicks are dry and fluffed, my hens have always moved the live chicks to the floor, creating a new fresh nest there, leaving any eggs that did not hatch. The mama hen tends to keep the chicks on one side of her, and the layers on the other side of her. Once we get to this point, I have never had a layer kill a chick. My roosters have always focused on taking care of the layers, mama on the babies.

    Another strange thing that I have had happened more than once, is that shortly, say when the chicks are two weeks old, maybe a little more, but not much. I had my mama hen get them to the top of the nest boxes. There she could roost off the floor, and they could still all cuddle under her to keep warm. I could hardly believe she could get them up there. So do put a wide board up off the floor.

    It does make integration a breeze. I think you get stronger healthier chicks, but you probably won't get 100% hatch rate, but really there is nothing more fun than a hen with chicks.

    Mrs K
     
  7. Flybybirds

    Flybybirds Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Here's a pic of the hen house.
    [​IMG]
    As you see The rooster and hens climb up to the coop with roosts. The nest boxes are on the outside of this coop but still insulated. Don't have to do much since I am in Fl. My question is this. If I let her hatch the chicks, will I have to close off the upper coop during the day? My hens are used to laying in those boxes. I know they will be in and out. Won't the chicks get out of the nest onto the floor inside and maybe topple down the stairs?
     
  8. Flybybirds

    Flybybirds Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Here is another picture of my hen house.
    [​IMG]
    This shows the incline and position of the roost. The floor is covered with hay as are the nest boxes you see on the left. I was afraid that when they hatch or maybe a week after the chicks might go down the incline and hurt themselves. Any thoughts?
     
  9. Flybybirds

    Flybybirds Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My hen is a maran sitting on one maran egg, two Easter eggers, and two buff eggs. The rooster is an Easter Egger crime/ tan. Have any idea what the chicks could be?
     
  10. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    Week old chicks can actually get around pretty good. If you're concerned, maybe you could move them to the bottom of the coop after they've all hatched. Or, is there a way you could put a board across the opening to the stairs that the chicks wouldn't be able to get over for a couple of weeks?
     

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