Broody hen is picked on

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by grammaC, Mar 27, 2015.

  1. grammaC

    grammaC Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 8, 2011
    SE Minnesota
    Have my first broody hen - a cochin. There are 3 other hens and a rooster in the flock. The cochin is lowest in pecking order, and even now when she gets up to eat, etc. the others (even the roo) chase her around and peck at her.

    How will they react when the chicks hatch? Will the cochin protect the little guys?
    Also, she keeps stepping on the eggs and cracking the shells. I'm down to 4 eggs that are still intact, with about two weeks to go. Any idea why she isn't more graceful? How do some manage to hatch 10 or 12 eggs??
     
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    If at all possible, it is best to isolate broody hens so that others can not access their nests. Broody hens are regarded as strangers due to their behavioral changes, and the flock frequently views them as such. Given enough space hens can raise their chicks in the flock environment - it can be more difficult for a subordinate hen to do so successfully.
     
  3. grammaC

    grammaC Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 8, 2011
    SE Minnesota
    Thanks for the info. I did end up moving her into a screened-off part of the coop, but she was very upset and tried to get out so much that she scratched open a spot on her comb :( I did put her back on the eggs and she seemed to have settled down a bit when I left last night.
     
  4. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    Next time that you move a broody hen, do so after dark, and have the new nest site tightly enclosed. Next morning when you open up the restrictions keep an eye on her behavior.
     
  5. grammaC

    grammaC Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 8, 2011
    SE Minnesota
    I just checked on them today and she has settled into the new spot. Maybe she realizes the others can't bug her anymore...
     

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