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Broody hens, eggs and chicks HELP

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by sawilliams, May 20, 2018.

  1. sawilliams

    sawilliams Songster

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    Ok so I have 1 hen broody for 12 days now. And a second hen that went broody 2 days ago. The second broody is actually a really gentle broody, almost to gentle. But i have kept the fittest in the main coop so far and today either due to double broodies or nest sharing with the egg layers one of the hatching eggs got broken... So I moved 1 broody to the mini pen and left the other in the coop to at least seperate the 2.


    12day broody is in the mini pen which works better for me cuase she's mean and this way I don't have to fight her to check and collect eggs and 2 day broody is in the coop, but she's so gentle I can just pick her up and mover her at will with no trouble.

    Who should get chick and who should get eggs? I have 8- 6day old healthy chicks I can give to 1 mom (a few at a time) they are set up in a brooder already so if things go south i already have a safe place for them. The other will keep the eggs for the remaining 8-9 days.


    My thought if she's willing is to give chicks to the 12 day broody in the mini pen, less interference for her to reject the chicks. The pen is in the run so i should be able to move her and her brood back to the coop easily. It's more work but once 12day has all her chicks switch her and 2day with the 12day eggs to finish her hatch in peace...

    Now, if 12day won't take the chicks is 2 days to soon to give the other hen chicks? 2day broody has adopted in the past but that was 6 feed store chicks after a single egg hatch last year. This is 12 day broodies first time and she's 4 years old, 2 days second time broody and she's 3 years old. I don't know if that info helps.
     
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Chicken tender Premium Member

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    Not sure if they will take 6 day old chicks. All you can do is give it a try and see. Be ready to remove them. You are the only one who can make that decision.
     
  3. sawilliams

    sawilliams Songster

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    I'm just waiting for it to get a little darker. The 6 days old chicks literally just hatched like Monday evening to Wednesday morning. Better then feed store chicks that are 2-3 days old at purchase and still have to rest for 2-3 days too make sure they are healthy...
     
    oldhenlikesdogs likes this.
  4. sawilliams

    sawilliams Songster

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    Honestly worst case scenario: chicks stay in the brooder; 12 day mama keeps her 12day eggs and 2day mama will get 3-4 new eggs
     
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  5. sawilliams

    sawilliams Songster

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    Well, it's done and 12day broody is extra mad at me, but seems happy with her 2 chicks. If I try to check her or the chicks not only is she hissing and clucking at me but soon as I close the egg hatch she chucks and coos as if to tell them it's ok. And they almost immediately where able to snuggle all the way under her not just under her wings but under her chest. I can see them moving around a bit and she doesn't seem bothered other than to tell them to settle down... So 2day broody has the 12day eggs in the main coop right now. She is very content, though i may need to fence off her nest temporarily to keep others from booting her to lay eggs... I'll give her a few days and see how she does, before I decide to fence her in.
     
  6. sawilliams

    sawilliams Songster

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    So things wnt a little south this morning. I checked then early and all was good but i checked after taking the kids to school and one of the chicks was out of the nest, in thr kower part of the mini coop. I suspect it followed her this morning for food. So i went to put it back with her this morning and she got mad, maybe because she thought the other chick was in danger? Any ways I didn't like her sudden aggression to this 1 chick so i took both chicks back to the brooder to avoid an issue and split the hatching eggs between the 2 hens.
     
  7. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Chicken tender Premium Member

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    Giving chicks can be tricky. Some hens just want to set, so I am always there when they hatch as I've had hens attack chicks. Not all know what they are doing with them, nor do all actually want chicks. I always feel safer brooding them myself if I have any doubt.
     
  8. sawilliams

    sawilliams Songster

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    Yeah it's just hard to know what to expect especially since its the ones first time and only the otherssecond time
     
    oldhenlikesdogs likes this.
  9. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Free Ranging Premium Member 8 Years

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    So, the broody has 6 day old chicks but they can’t leave them the nest for food and water? Or are they in the upper part of a prefab type coop with food and water? Chicks that age are ready to follow their mama outside to scratch, hunt and learn how to be chickens.
     
  10. sawilliams

    sawilliams Songster

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    I put food and water in the upper and lower part. Mom must have went down to the lower part and 1 of the chicks followed couldn't get back up the ramp. So one was in the upper 1 was in the lower. When i tried to move the 1 back up to mom she got mean towards it...not a mom peck but like a get away from me peck. Since she's clearly not ready to accept chicks I put the chicks back in the brooder and she can just hatch the eggs instead. Hopefully things will go better when her eggs hatch
     

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