Broody hen - should I seperate the chicks?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Southernbelle, Oct 30, 2008.

  1. Southernbelle

    Southernbelle Gone Broody

    Mar 17, 2008
    Virginia
    I have 3 broody Silkies - my first time with broodies and they ganged up on me! I didn't want to break their hearts, so I gave them 9 eggs between the 3 of them. They're doing a great job incubating their eggs: they're sitting tight, all the eggs are covered, they're eating, drinking, pooping, etc.

    My question is what do I do when the chicks get here?

    1. I plan to keep the mama/babies seperate from the main flock, but can they all inhabit the same pen and raise their families together? I don't really have a safe place for them each to have their own pen.

    2. What would happen if I take the babies after they hatch? The last thing I want is for Mama to try to set again.

    3. How do I reintroduce Mama hen to the main flock again?
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2008
  2. Msbear

    Msbear Fancy Banties

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    May 8, 2008
    Sharpsburg, MD.
    Having the peeps hatch is like a reward for mama and an end to broodiness at least for a while. She won't even lay eggs for another month or so at least. I think you should leave the whole family together and keep a close eye. As long as they have plenty of room, things should be fine. If you see and excessive pecking, separate.

    I think babies with momma is extremely beneficial to everyone. The babies learn how to be chickens (where to roost, how to eat, what to eat, etc.) the hens have comfort in having their babies and we get comfort in knowing we don't have to clean a stinky brooder every two days and mom will keep them nice and warm and integrate them into your flock a whole lot easier.

    If it were me, I wouldn't separate anyone. I'd leave them all together...roosters, other hens...whatever but some people on here believe differently.. any time now they'll be here. [​IMG]
     
  3. Southernbelle

    Southernbelle Gone Broody

    Mar 17, 2008
    Virginia
    I like the idea of putting the Mama hens to work - I'm all about what's easiest - (that's why I breastfed my kids; I was soooooo not making bottles in the middle of the night [​IMG] )

    One of the broodies is still in the big pen and no one tries to lay eggs in her box. For one thing, she took over the least favorite nest box and for another she's really grumpy and I think pretty high up on the pecking order, so nobody dares mess with her.

    The other 2 broodies were getting forcibly dragged out of their boxes in order for the other hens to lay and one of the girls' combs got bloody, so I moved them to the old brooder box, which is only 4x4x2. I don't think they're as high up on the pecking order and I don't want their babies to suffer.
     

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