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Broody Hen vs Alpha Hen?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Morgan7782, Sep 27, 2010.

  1. Morgan7782

    Morgan7782 Dense Egg Goo

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    I have a question for those who have had broody hens hatch or brood chicks.

    Say the broody hen is not the "head hen" on the pecking order. Does the "head hen" give the broody and chicks any trouble after everybody is safely re-integrated? Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2010
  2. math ace

    math ace Overrun With Chickens

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    YES and it won't matter if it was the HEAD hen. Anytime a new chicken is introduced there is a pecking order discussion. When you remove a chicken for the purpose of hatching and raising chicks, when the chicken is reintroduce she must go through pecking order challenges again. All broody hens are likely to drop on the pecking order BECAUSE they are smaller and weaker due to the stress of hatching and raising chicks. . . . .
     
  3. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    I generally leave the broody/mama hen with her flock. No reintroduction. And the roo helps watch over them.

    I have a separate broody area, but the new chicks figured out how to slip under then fence and be with the rest of the flock, leaving the poor mama behind to watch. So I propped the door open.
     
  4. Morgan7782

    Morgan7782 Dense Egg Goo

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    Oh okay, I wasn't aware you could brood either with or without the flock. I do not have a rooster, but I do have a Brahma who I think may be a broody girl. She is probably 2nd in command, but if she gets too close to the "head hen" or is trying to share treats the "head hen" will peck her. Usually once, but it's a good hard peck, enough to back her off.

    IF my Brahma is broody (I know I know counting my chickens before they hatch lol) I have a seperate coop I can have her brood in, or she is welcome to stay in the "big" coop with the flock. I guess I will have to do some more reading.

    I also wasn't aware that the pecking order was so strict! I had no idea if you seperate one chicken, even just for the night, it would cause a stir in the pecking order.. Hm. Another thing to consider. I don't want anybody in harms way especially some little chicks. Thanks for the help and if anybody had more to add please do!
     
  5. kano

    kano Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I personally, don't like to brood with the flock. In spite most chickens and roos,don't peak little chicks,some others are very mean and it's better to avoid risks. So my "Broody pen"is attached to the main one. And, everybody see each other all the time. Chickens have about 6 days of "memory"to recognize one of the flock after the separation. Not one nigth. But 21 däys of dissapearence cause that the poor broody hen become a virtual alien to the flock. So they ( the broody and chicks) live there for one month watching the rest of the flock, and one nigth I open the door that comunicate both spaces. Some problems always happen, but they are minimum in comparission with other reintroductions.
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2010
  6. Morgan7782

    Morgan7782 Dense Egg Goo

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    Thanks for sharing your experience [​IMG] ! I will research it a bit more and see what I can do.

    My Brahma is acting... Flirtatious for lack of a better word. I don't have a rooster, and she is wandering the yard yelling about or for something lol and I can't help but think she is looking for a "prince charming". She is not picky either, and she even squatted for the head hen (which I have never seen) and I had to chase Joon off her because the Brahma wouldn't move off, she just waited there, getting pecked in the head.

    Also, the Brahma is like 2-3 TIMES the head hen's size! But she is herding my 20 week old Wyandotte pullets around like they are new hatch chicks, and protecting them, so I just want to have the knowlage if she does become broody. I would love to let her hatch some eggs, but will she take them if there is no rooster around? Will she know she hasn't "bred"? Thanks for any help!
     
  7. math ace

    math ace Overrun With Chickens

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    You will know when she is broody because she won't leave the nest. You will find her there in the morning, still there at lunch, and come dinner she is still on the nest. . . .TIME to get eggs at that point. I wouldn't get expensive eggs the first time BECAUSE she may accidently kill a few of the first batch when they go to piping. Also, she may decide she is tired of sitting on the eggs half way through the 21 days.

    The pecking order is not so set in stone that there would be an issue if you removed a hen for a day. If you remove a hen for a week, there may be a little negotiating when she returns to the flock. Gone for 2 weeks will cause a stir for sure! Gone for 3 weeks is like she was never part of the flock !
     

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