Broody trouble

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by My chicken is cuter, Jun 20, 2009.

  1. My chicken is cuter

    My chicken is cuter Songster

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    Jan 6, 2009
    Houston, TX
    My broody has been sitting on eggs for quite some time and the chicks are due to hatch later this week. I know that I need to separate her from the other hens so that they don't harm the chicks but when I moved her to a giant dog crate she wouldn't sit on the eggs. I moved her back to the coop so the eggs wouldn't be ruined, but now I don't know what to do about her. I need some advice.


    Thanks in advance
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

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    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    I know some people on this forum are convinced that a broody and her chicks absolutely have to be separated from the flock to protect the chicks, but broody hens have been raising chicks with the flock for thousands of years and chickens are not extinct. I agree that there are some good things about separating them, but I also think there are good things about a broody raising the chicks with the flock. Mama takes care of most of the integration issues if they are raised with the flock. They learn better how to be chickens. But that is my opinion.

    I will not tell you that something bad will not happen if the hen raises the chicks with the flock. It could as you are dealing with living animals. Some broodies have been known to kill their own chicks as they hatch, especially first time broodies. You never know for sure what will happen.

    It does depend a lot on how much room you have. If you are cramped for space, there is a greater chance of something bad happening. If Mama has room to work with, what will normally happen is that one hen will threaten or even peck a chick, Mama will severely reprimand that hen, the lesson will be learned, and the chicks will be left alone by that hen and the remainder of the flock.

    I've seen posts where people are afraid the rooster will kill the chicks. I don't doubt it has happened. I've also seen posts on here where the rooster took over raising the chicks when Mama abandoned them too early. They are living creatures. You never know what will happen.

    If I were to let Mama raise chicks with the flock, I'd set up an area where the chicks can have their own food that the big chickens cannot get to. I'd probably have water in there too to further reduce the chances of conflict. Make a crate with holes in it that the chicks can get through but the big chickens cannot, about 2-1/2" is a good size. Maybe cut holes in a milk crate. Build a wooden crate out of slats. Whatever you have or your imagination can come up with. Turn that over the food and water. Instant safe place.

    With all that said, here is a link on how someone else moves a broody hen. I have not tried it so I cannot guarantee it.

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=162759

    Good luck!
     

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