Broody wants back with flock..what to do with her and babies....

Jeffross1968

Songster
8 Years
May 14, 2011
1,130
15
191
Smoky Mountains
Need broody advice: So our first ever broody's babies are now a full month old. She and the babies have been living in a broody pen, which is a fenced off area below the raised coop, in sharing one fenced wall with, and in full view of the main run. Over the last 2 weeks, we've allowed them out to free range on occasion, and for the last few days, out to free range with all the other chickens. There have been no issues, except that she's very protective of them. Until tonight.

Tonight, after locking her and the babies back up in the broody pen, she started making a ruckus. She wouldn't calm down. The decision was made to let her out, and see what happens. She ran out, and immediately run into the main coop, jumped up on the roost, and abandoned her babies. We even put a baby in the big coop to see what would happen and she remained up there. So, we took her back down and put her with the babies in the broody pen. But obviously after 7 weeks, she is done. She has begun laying as well.

So...now a couple decisions have to be made. Against her wishes, we can leave her locked up in the broody pen each night with the babies for a while longer. Or, we can put both her and the babies in the big coop, integrating them with the rest of the flock, and hopefully continuing the hen/chick relationship somehow. Or, we can put her back with the flock, and add the babies to other chicks of close to the same age, in the grow pen, effectively ending any bond mama might have with her babies.

I know there could be issues with adding the babies to the flock, due to obvious reasons. I just don't know what would be best.
 

Achickenwrangler#1

Songster
8 Years
Aug 7, 2011
2,431
102
183
west virginia
the hen has definetely weaned her chicks, I would let them all be together, you will have to teach the chicks to perch now. The broody will not reattach to them, they are on there own. My first broody dropped hers at four weeks, just after she taught them to perch. Another one still tolerates a chick or two trying to snuggle under her on the roost! The last broody is still happy away from the flock and seems to be enjoying her 'alone' time with them, but they are only two weeks old, each one is different. I prefer to integrate them into the flock asap.
 

darin367

Songster
9 Years
Dec 1, 2010
315
17
154
Shelton, Wa.
let her n babies back in with the flock........... i don't even seperate, i throw some eggs in a box and a broody takes over, raises them with the flock, no issues......
 

WalkingOnSunshine

Crowing
11 Years
Apr 8, 2008
4,210
507
328
Ohio
Is she protective of the chicks? If she'll fight off other flock members, let her integrate them. She'll do a much better job than you could.

The caveat to this: if she's not protective, the other flock members may kill the babies. Watch them VERY carefully when you first introduce them and make sure the mama is watching out for them.
 

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