Broody Hen on 9 Eggs- Please help me hatch them!

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by RoxysAnimals, Oct 19, 2015.

  1. RoxysAnimals

    RoxysAnimals Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hello Everyone, I'm just going to say this. I currently have 9 hens, 2 roosters, and 6 chicks in a coop by themselves. They are free range, and the main chicken coop is in a sheep pen. The chicks coop is in the sheep pen also, but has a fence around it. One of my hens has gone broody, and this is my first time experiencing this. She is in the main chicken coop. I want to hatch the chicks, but I don't know if the roosters or hens will attack the chicks or not. The 6 chicks I put out in the chick coop have been stalked by the roosters while they are in the run, and I took one out a couple weeks ago and set it down, and my roosters started running at it with an intent to kill. I don't know if I should put my hen in a dog kennel made of wire out in the middle of the chicken range, or what I should do. If I do put her in the kennel, should I cover it with a blanket at night so she feels safe? What should I do about that?

    The 9 Eggs were put under her:

    October 13th-3 Eggs
    October 18th-2 Eggs
    October 19th-4 Eggs

    If I take the ones she is laying on, she follows me to the house and sits outside until I come back out with them. I don't want her abandoning her hatch, so I let her keep her eggs. Please help me, as the amateur with chickens I am.
     
  2. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Flock Master

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    You're going to have some difficulty, as most hens don't do staggered hatches well. They hatch the first group, and then leave the nest to take care of the chicks. I don't know what to say about your rooster's behavior, as my rooster is gentle with the chicks. Even in a kennel, your broody and eggs wouldn't be safe, unless the area you put the kennel in was predator proof. A coon or possom could reach right through that kennel wire, and grab your hen and pull her to the side of the kennel, and eat her through the wire. How old are your chicks?
     
  3. QueenMisha

    QueenMisha Queen of the Coop

    You need to remove/kill one of the batches of eggs; either the 13th or the 18th/19th. Staggered hatches cannot be done under broody; the mother will abandon the nest 1-3 days after the first chick hatches, leaving behind any unhatched or very young chicks.

    Some broodies can raise their chicks while living with the flock. It largely depends on who momma is and who else is in the flock. If you have chick-killing roosters out there, you need to separate her. A dominant momma hen can stand up against most other bullies, but chick-killing roosters do not care what a momma hen has to say. (Personally, I would never keep a chick-killer in my flock. I will make many exceptions, but not for chick-killers). Wait until nightfall and move her to a separate area.
     
  4. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

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    Do you have an incubator on standby so that when she leaves the nest after the first few are hatched you can "save" the later ones?
    Typically when a hen goes broody it is best to collect how many eggs you want her to have and then give them to her all once. Not only does this keep the hatch dates together it gives you time to observe her and make sure she is a "dedicated" broody. If the first three eggs hatch on time, chances are she will be up and taking care of those three before the second and third set are ready.

    It is normal for hens/chickens to go after "outsider" chicks that don't have protection from momma. If momma is a good momma she will be able to protect her chicks. My banty hatched out three babies 2 weeks ago and they are in the coop with the rest. For the most part the others don't bother them.

    When you say "chicken range" are you talking about a run? If you don't have room in the coop for a cage/kennel, I wouldn't put it in an exposed run. If she has a safe nesting place undisturbed by the other hens I would let her sit there and consider the move at hatch time.
     
  5. RoxysAnimals

    RoxysAnimals Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My plan was to move her into a small pen the day before the hatch, and once she leaves the nest, I will put the eggs in a homemade incubator. The incubator is made out of a heating pad on the bottom, and water for humidity and is perfect temp. I have used it to hatch parrot eggs, so it should work for chickens too.
     
  6. song of joy

    song of joy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You definitely don't want to move her that close to the hatch date. It's just too risky. I'd either move her now or wait until the day after the chicks hatch.
     
  7. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Flock Master

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    agreed.
     
  8. WildCatRunWV

    WildCatRunWV Out Of The Brooder

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    When you move her you could take the eggs due to hatch with the second group and incubate them. After they hatch your hen may adopt them if you put them under her at night. I had two Broodies hatch eggs a week apart and I took the bitties from the second hatch and gave them to the first broody and she took them in with no hesitation.
     

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