BROODYS, PEEPS AND ROOSTERS

cwcochran1961

In the Brooder
7 Years
Mar 6, 2012
66
0
39
LURAY, VA
Hello everyone. I have a question. I have a little Cochin hen who has "gone Settin" as my DH says. She was sitting on about 21 eggs. too many for such a small girl. So anyway the eggs count under her is now down to 9. Ive been candling them, I've got some growth, some movement etc. So I'm just gonna let nature take it course. What happens after hey hatch? Does Momma and babies need to be separated from the rest of the flock which contains 3 roosters( all very docile) and the rest of the girls? Will she protect them? will the roosters or the other hens hurt them normally?
Needless to say this is my first attempt at this and I just want a definite answer as to what to expect.
Thanks
 

azelgin

Songster
12 Years
Jan 18, 2008
1,277
58
193
S.E. AZ
From my experience, the roosters aren't a threat. Its usually the other hens. It will depend on how many there are. I've had chicks killed by the other hens, who seem to look at chicks that aren't their own, as small prey. With just a few others hens (maybe 5/6?), the broody has been able to fend off the others, until the attackers get accustomed to the chicks, and the chicks learn to run for safety under mom.
 

Morrigan

Free Ranging
8 Years
Apr 9, 2014
3,093
12,325
702
N. California
I have this exact same question. I have day old chicks that are, for now, in a wire dog kennel with Mom+nest inside the coop. The kennel is really too small for them and Mom, so I wanted to open the cage and let them all out with the flock tomorrow -- which is 1 rooster and 9 other hens.

I guess I'll never really know how the other hens and rooster will handle it until I try it. I hope it's not a blood bath, but several things make me think it might be OK

--The rooster has been incredibly sweet to my broody. When she was setting and she would come out for her daily food/bathroom, he never tried to mate her and then would follow her back to the nest and sit outside softly purring until she re-situated herself.

--None of my hens have ever had more than a minor squabble with each other. No bullies that I can see.

--None seem particularly fixed on the chicks in the kennel.

--We have tons of chick-a-dees and sparrows hoping around the run and trying to steal their food. The hens have never chased or bothered them.

The alternative is to build them a whole separate area until they mature, which I had really hoped to avoid. Thoughts of more experienced owners would be welcome. I've got so much to learn!
roll.png
 

azelgin

Songster
12 Years
Jan 18, 2008
1,277
58
193
S.E. AZ
Here's the scenario I've had:
Mom and little chicks are in the coop. These were day old, maybe two. A curious hen pecks a chick, mom races out to protect it, chicks get trampled, as the other hens run up to see what the heck is going on. Pretty soon, mom is running in all directions, trying to protect the screaming chicks. A chick gets injured and the other hens pick it up and shake it, causing more panic. . . . . .

That's when we stepped in and separated the bunch.

Try it if you like, but be prepared for the consequences and to step in.

Maybe, it won't happen.

I think she lost three out of five.
 
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ChickenLegs13

Songster
6 Years
Sep 4, 2013
1,401
196
143
Lower Alabama
When keeping penned chickens I've had problems with other hens & roosters trampling, pecking & attacking chicks, as well as my broody hens are downright mean and attack the other hens, hog the feeder and create chaos all day. Then there's the issue of the chicks eating the layer feed and the grown birds eating all the starter.
So I prefer to keep my hens & chicks in separate pens and not with my layer flock. I also maintain a small broody rooster in the broody pen to assist in whatever roosters do in raising chicks.
 

Morrigan

Free Ranging
8 Years
Apr 9, 2014
3,093
12,325
702
N. California
Well, yesterday I decided to take Momma and chicks out of their dog carrier. I blocked off the coop entrance for about 2 hours so she had some private time to find a new nest spot. It's funny, I took her cardboard nest out of the carrier and put it down in the same spot as it had been insider the carrier, but she wanted nothing to do with it. She found a new corner spot and dragged over the chick feeder so it was directly in front of her. Then I opened the coop back up.

So far it's gone great. The hens were more interested in the new flock feeder crumbles in the main feeder and pretty much ignored Mom and chicks. After a bit, Mom moved out of her nest with the chicks and over to the main feeder. If any hen so much as looked sideways at the chicks, Mom fluffed up and after a few minutes the other hens were treading very lightly around the chicks. My rooster came over to check the chicks out, and she was totally fine with that.

This morning everyone was fine. I saw my alpha hen come over to check out the chicks near the nesting spot, but she was really calm and quick about it, and Momma didn't even bother to fluff up.

I'm glad I risked the integration. I do think it helped that I had my carrier cage inside the coop to begin with, so the other hens had a couple of days to get used to the chicks.
 

ChickenLegs13

Songster
6 Years
Sep 4, 2013
1,401
196
143
Lower Alabama
Glad it went well. Some hens are just sweeter than others. My founding hens were a crossbreed involving RIR, Ameracuana, Game & Bantam and they were absolutely psycho, even more so when broody. As my flock has grown I've become more liberal with the hatchet and most of mine get along well now.
 

cwcochran1961

In the Brooder
7 Years
Mar 6, 2012
66
0
39
LURAY, VA
I hope to find out how this goes within a day or two, as the chicks are due anytime. i have noticed that momma is getting very testy when even I come around her lately. so we shall see.
 

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