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Broody hens

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Lynne Peacok20, Feb 22, 2018.

  1. Lynne Peacok20

    Lynne Peacok20 In the Brooder

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    Sep 8, 2017
    Shacklefords, VA
    We have 3 extremely broody hens (Bantam and 2 frizzles) that have laid 5 eggs and will not come out of the coop because they are sitting on the eggs nonstop. Sometimes, all 3 are sitting on the cluster of eggs. The roosters come in at night and the coop is locked. Do I move all 3 or just 1 hen to another location to hatch the eggs or is it ok to leave them in the coop with the roosters?
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging 7 Years

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    It is OK to leave a broody hen with roosters and other birds because she will protect the chicks from all comers.
    However, I don't have great success with community broody birds. Each should have their own space because they will steal eggs from each other and for various reasons, many don't hatch. I had 8 pullets sitting on a community nest of 24 eggs and only one hatched. Then they all wanted to mother the chick which I think made it psychotic.
    Another time 2 hens were in different nests and they would constantly move eggs between nests. I always had to relocate eggs because of different hatch dates.
    Another thing you can do is put your most reliable setter in her own location and break the others from their broodiness.
     
  3. Lynne Peacok20

    Lynne Peacok20 In the Brooder

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    Sep 8, 2017
    Shacklefords, VA
    Thank you for your advice. Should I move the eggs to another box within the coop, or to another coop? Does it matter which eggs? Do they actually know which ones are theirs? LOL
     
  4. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging 7 Years

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    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    They don't know or care whose eggs they are. They just want to raise chicks. They know eggs, any eggs, will allow them to do so.
    The only thing that really matters is that all the eggs were started incubating the same day. If not, it will be a staggered hatch which will cause some embryos to die when the hen leaves the nest to care for live chicks.
     
  5. Lynne Peacok20

    Lynne Peacok20 In the Brooder

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    Sep 8, 2017
    Shacklefords, VA
    Ok, great. Thanks again. They were all raised around the same time and I candled them to check for dates. All are within a day or so.

    I just pulled 3 of the 5 eggs to 2 different brooder boxes and placed the frizzles in them. All looks fine so far. We will see in the morning!

    Thanks again for the advice!
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2018
  6. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging 7 Years

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    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    With broody hens, it is important to put dates on the eggs so you can remove volunteers.
     

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