Has anyone ever kept or tried to keep a broody hen that set on eggs, hatched them, and raised the chicks unseparated from but along with the other hens/rooster in the same coop/run? If so, what was your experience?
My experience has been fine. Momma chicken does a great job teaching and protecting her little ones. We are going on week 4 with the little chickies,and they cohabit with 9BR pullets, 1 BR cockerel, 5 sexlinks, one RIR roo, and 5 other gamebirds. Not one problem.
They do need a hiding spot or two,and also a warm spot for cold nights, when momma has to snuggle down and keep her babies warm.
Thanks, Skeeter9, I wish that I had known all this when my little silkie was setting her eight eggs. If I had known, I'd've left her and her single chick in the coop with the other hens and the rooster. I wonder what would happen if I put the two of them in there now.
When my silkie hen hatched her babies I kept her in the same coop, I blocked her off for a few days in till everyone hatch !!! Did it for a few reason !!! 1 b/c I didnt want chicks getting lost and walking off without her and 2 b/c I had a hen the wouldnt stop laying in that nest (she would lay right next to the other hen and lay an egg and then the other hen would roll it under her) after about 2-3 days I removed the board and everyone was happy, Good luck !!!!
My SS hen hatched out 8 little ones 3 weeks ago. For the first 1-2 weeks they were in the coop that is used by all 15 adult chickens....no problems. By the end of the 2nd week she had taken the chicks outside where my chickens free range on an acre. She is very protective and I often see her and the chicks eating among all the others without incident. In fact, both of my dogs were at one point very curious about the chicks, but mamma sussex put them straight and they no longer even look in her direction when they are out in the yard.
I have done it both ways. I found that if the hen is at the top of the pecking order there is usually no problems with leaving her and her chicks in with the rest. On the other hand, I have lost chicks to canabalism when the ma hen was at the bottom of the pecking order. I now leave ma hen and her chicks in the coop but separated from the rest for 2 weeks. This way the little chicks move better and are able to get away form any of the mean old aunty hens.
Hmmm, well maybe it's a good thing that I didn't leave my little silky hen in there with them because she would have been the bottom of the peciking order with three Orpington hens and one rooster. I might try letting her in the run with them now that the chick is a couple of weeks old just to see what the reaction is from the larger chickens. When the silkie and chick are in a large cage on the grass, the Orpingtons gather around to study them.