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Can i switch broody hens on fertile egg?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Forest Cantina, Nov 9, 2013.

  1. Forest Cantina

    Forest Cantina In the Brooder

    Oct 24, 2013
    This maybe a strange question, but can i switch broody hens on fertile eggs?

    I have an Araucana who has been sitting on 12x SLW eggs in her own little enclosure (private maternity ward) for 2 weeks. My Plymouth Rock has just gone broody. I am thinking of taking the Auraucana off and putting the Plymouth Rock on. MAINLY because the Araucana is SOOOOO crazy! Like really really nuts - im so worried if she will be a good mum or not. Even my brother who has many chooks always comments when he comes over how odd she is - he siad hes never seen a hen like her before. And my Plymouth Rock is SO friendly and docile and really chill...sure this is a better personality trait for a mum right???

    Or should i just leave them be?? Will it mess with the incubation and the mental state of the hens???

    Can the personality of the mum rub off on the chicks???

    I have an Orpington and 5x 1 month old Barnevelders and she's a REALLY good mumma hen. She never ever pecks at me, i can pick the chicks up and check them and shes fine.

    WHAT DO I DO???

  2. Judy

    Judy Crowing Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Well, the hens won't know whose eggs they are sitting on, or even how many or what kind. It's a little difficult to say what I would do as you don't describe how the Araucana is nuts, what her behavior is.

    You could split the eggs between the two hens if you wished, to get some chicks but see how the Araucana does as a mama hen, though this would work best with separate broody enclosures for them. What concerns me is the Araucana's response to being put back in the flock. Most likely she will just continue to be broody and sit. I would be tempted to leave at least some eggs with her and see how she does. Also, if you let them raise the chicks with the flock, I wonder if the Arauccana would be better off being a mama than being run off from the chicks by another mama.

    Not pecking you when she has chicks of course isn't necessarily an indicator of being a good mama. She needs to be protective of her chicks and keep them safe from the rest of the flock. If she does this yet allows you access to the chicks, of course, that's convenient.
  3. Forest Cantina

    Forest Cantina In the Brooder

    Oct 24, 2013
    Thank you for your reply.

    I think im just going to leave them as is. I think i was over thinking it last night.

    Yes, i dont know why she's like the way she is, i brought her as a hen - im not sure if it was the result of her previous owner, who knows, but even my brother who has many chickens say's her behavior is VERY odd! Shes not at the bottom of the pecking order, nor is she at the top, they have a huge big free range area under native trees. She's been like that from day 1 and ive had her for about 8 months and she's a little better than she was.

    Maybe being a mumma will be good for her :)

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