CAN I.... put two broody hen in the same pen with eggs to hatch same time under them??

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Mixed Pen, Oct 15, 2014.

  1. Mixed Pen

    Mixed Pen Out Of The Brooder

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    I have 2 broody hens, one who was close to hatch and caled it quits when i put her in lock down away from the others, the second is a week behind, i was wondering now that i have two broody and one batch of eggs, can i just devide the eggs over the two hens in the one lock down area??
    i am worried to move the second hen now, what would you do in terms of hatching in the main coop??
     
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  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    I wouldn't move a broody at this point. Maybe hatching in the coop with the others isn't ideal, and maybe two broodies in one nest isn't either -- but certainly chickens have been doing these things for many years. In the end, you never know for sure what will work til you try, with chickens.

    I let my broodies riase their chicks in with the flock, anyway. If she's a good one, she will protect the chicks. All ou have to do is remove the layer feed and feed the flock whatever the chicks need.
     
  3. Mixed Pen

    Mixed Pen Out Of The Brooder

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    what stage would you move a broody???
    i had moved the first hen in the past and had no trouble, but this time she would not have a bar of it.. what birds do you have in your pen that you put your chicks with, i have 7hens and 2 roos, with plenty of space but the laying box is off the ground, so i dont know what to do when they hatch??
     
  4. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    The best time to move a broody is definitely before you give her the eggs -- and then wait 24 hours or more to be sure she will accept the new spot. I did once move a broody when the eggs were nearly ready to hatch and got away with it, but don't think I would try that again. I think if an egg hadn't been peeping, it would never have worked.

    Chickens are relaly unpredictable things, though. What works for you ma never work for me, and the way my flock reacts to change is probably going to be different from how yours does.

    I have put day old chicks under a broody and had her accept and raise them I also had one reject them, but that time I put them under her during the day. It might have worked if I had done it after good dark, late in the evening. Otherwise, I've never tried it with brooder raised chicks unless they were all adult sized. I've had several broodies raise their chicks in with the flock, though, and there was no problem when the mama decided she was no longer their mother, returned to the roost by herself, and started laying again. The chicks tended to stay in a bunch off to themselves and sleep huddled on the floor for a while, but in time joined the flock on the roost and foraging. It;s the other hens who wil try to bother them, and who the mama will run off, but this has always stopped before the mama gave up mothering. Roosters either ignored the chicks or helped their mama care for them.

    In the old days, many a hen made her nest in the hayloft and the farmer never knew it til the chicks jumped down to the barn floor several feet below at one or two days old -- without injury. I wouldn't worry about the height of the nest box. It's true that the chicks won't be able to jump back up to it when young, of course, but the mama will simply cover them where they are. I just throw a little fresh hay around so she can make a good nest, usually in a corner somewhere. She willl probably lead them to the roost before she stops mothering. I do have a separate "broody room" in my coop now, with chicken wire walls, and that has worked a couple of times -- but I only use it before hatch, so the mama will have peace during setting, and the eggs don't get knocked around so much, mama doesn't return to the wrong nest, etc.

    Like I said, the only thing I do ehen they hatch is move the layer feed out of the coop -- well, and scatter a couple of bricks so they chicks can reach the food and water.
     
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Good post, Judy.

    Many people have great success with two broodies working together to hatch eggs and raise chicks. Sometimes though there are disasters. Once the eggs started internal pip and the chicks started talking to Mama before hatch I had two broodies fight over the eggs and destroy about half of them. Sometimes they fight over the chicks and chicks get hurt. If they are in separate nests, one might abandon her eggs when the other hen starts hatching and go to the other nest. They may not fight but cooperate, but you still have those unhatched abandoned eggs.

    Many people have great success with two broodies working together. Many many people have great success with multiple broodies taking care of their chicks and leaving the other broody and chicks alone. You are dealing with living animals so about anything can happen, but unless you need to, I would not risk putting those two broodies together.

    I also let my hens hatch with the flock and raise the chicks with the flock. If I have two broodies start at different times they might both get eggs. Usually this works out, but that one time they fought was not good.
     
  6. Mixed Pen

    Mixed Pen Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks SO MUCH!!!!
    i was told one of the roos i got even sat with one of these hens (they came together) when she hatched her last chicks, so i guess he will be fine..
    Anyway life is an experiment really, so this time i will hatch in the coop, the yard is very big and full of hiding spaces and grass and lots more so i guess they will be fine.. time will tell, and if no, next time i will move first.. i have moved in the past with no trouble, but this time i think the hen was like "what" anyway thanks for all your advice, i have not checked today, but i am sure the 1st hen has called it quits, so i will let the second hatch win the main run... YAY..
     
  7. kimthom66

    kimthom66 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am hoping to find an answer to my problem I have a small flock of Bantam Cochins 4 hens and 1 roo, I have them in a small coop and run with one nesting box. well you can imagine it got crowded real quick when 1 became broody. I got excited thinking about having chicks and I had recently purchased a small coop to be used as a grow out pen and decided to move the broody hen with her 10 eggs (8 viable ones after we candled them on day 10). She took the move well and I am expecting the hatch to happen this weekend. The coop she is in is small but it does have 2 nesting boxes. Now I have discovered I have another broody hen...should I move her into what I am calling the maternity ward? Their hatch dates will be about 2 weeks apart? Will the new broody try to harm the first hatch? I am a newbie this is my first experience with hatching eggs with a broody so I can use any and all advice on this!!
     

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