Broody Silkie to Hatch Eggs... Separate or Not?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by PortlandChick, Jan 6, 2012.

  1. PortlandChick

    PortlandChick Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 20, 2011
    We have a young silkie bantam who has had about 6 weeks of egg laying compared to about 4 months of broodiness. She's just coming off her second broody cycle, which lasts about 1.5 to 2 months. We are hoping to use her to hatch some eggs this spring (since we aren't getting eggs from this little mama wannabe). She is a truly determined broody so I have no worries about her abandoning the eggs half way through, but I do wonder if broody hens with eggs and then the new chicks should be separated from the other girls, or if it is better for them to all be raised together so we don't have to try to merge them later. I would imagine in nature chicks and mamas are just part of the larger flock, but any recommendations would be appreciated! We have 7 girls total, including 2 bantams.
     
  2. snipercp

    snipercp Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 22, 2011
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    i would seperate atleast for the first week
     
  3. suzeqf

    suzeqf Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 17, 2011
    I have my broody momma silkie seperated from the other as of last night I usually seperate them after they've sat on their nest for at least 7 days and then they get moved to the broody momma apartment inside the coop which is a large wire dog kennel so they can see everyone and everyone can see them and i have it fixed that others can share her water so she still feels like part of the flock and when the eggs hatch i put the plastic hardware cloth around the sides just to keep everyone safe and after 2 weeks i start letting momma out if she wants out and at 4 weeks they usually want out for good and that's usually when i start letting the chicks explore with momma under supervision and by 6 weeks they are pretty much full fledged flock members and at 8 weeks they get to decide if they want to roost with everyone else or in their brooder i've been leaving the heatlight on since it's been getting into the 30's at night and every morning i have 4 or 5 sitting around it.
     
  4. PortlandChick

    PortlandChick Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 20, 2011
    Thanks for the great replies. One concern I have is how I would separate them. They have a raised coop about 4x4 with 3 nesting boxes on the side. They have the Fort Knox of chicken runs, but never spend anytime in it as they run all over the yard all day. There is plenty of room for 11-12 grown hens, but not sure I could add in a heat lamp safely, or a crate.
     
  5. PortlandChick

    PortlandChick Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 20, 2011
    Wondering if at night I could put up wire mesh to keep them in a nesting box and then during the day just lock the big girls out of the run. At night I could make sure the babies and mama were settled back in their nesting box before letting the big girls in for bed.
     
  6. suzeqf

    suzeqf Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 17, 2011
    Are you nest boxes on the floor of the coop and how far away from the other nest are they, you could always make a small enclosure with plastic hardware cloth that's big enough to put a small food and waterer in that way she's still part of the flock and it makes chick intro much much easier since everyone has seen and heard the chicks since they hatched
     
  7. PortlandChick

    PortlandChick Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 20, 2011
    The nest boxes are attached on the outside of the coop, accessible at floor level from the inside of the coop. They are in a row, but each an individual box. There is not much room in there expect for a chicken to nest comfortably, which is why I thinking it would be ok at night, and then during the day they could take over the run for a couple weeks as the girls are never in there during the day anyway. Would this give enough exposure for the flock with the new chicks if they were in there all night with them, but divided by hardwire? Not sure how I would make water accessible to both parties though.
     
  8. Wnunezcruz

    Wnunezcruz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 28, 2011
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    I usually seperate the broody hen after all the eggs hatch from the flock in a pen made just for them for around 2-3 months. My chickens like to peck on the chicks they haven't hatched themselves.
     

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