Can 2 broody hens sitting on eggs in two adjacent nest boxes work?


6 Years
Oct 15, 2017
Cookeville TN
I have two broody hens, sitting on eggs in a very small, Chinese made hen house with 3 nest boxes. One hen is in the nest box on the right and the other hen is on the left, with an empty nest box between them. The black Copper Maran hen is 3 days ahead of the Rhode Island Red hen. They seem to be co-existing well so far, but can two broody hens exist in the same very small henhouse? What will happen when the chicks hatch under the Copper Maran and then 3 days later under the Rhode Island Red? Will it be one big happy family or will this be a potentially dangerous situation for the chicks? What, if anything, should I do?
Really, really depends on your overall flock temperament and the temperament of the hens.

I generally have very successful co-brooding in the nest, but have had troubles with the chicks being hijacked by one hen from the other. If you have a lot of foot traffic in the coop, the poor chicks can get stranded which means chilling to death.

Some years, I have had stellar main coop hatching and rearing with hens literally working together to oversee the chicks. Other years (such as this year), it's been a disaster with the wrong chemistry of hens and chicks being fought over and foot traffic stranding them.

If I'm really serious about a hatch, I separate the hens with a barricade for lock down and the first week...two weeks is better.

But if you have a small coop, small flock, and friendly hens, it can be wonderful. Just be sure to have plenty of feeders and waterers for the chicks and hens.


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