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Can you mix hens with newly hatched chicks together successfully

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by kiwibird67, Nov 3, 2011.

  1. kiwibird67

    kiwibird67 Hatching

    Nov 3, 2011
    hiya all, We have just entered into the world of hatching/breeding etc. Have about 4 broody hens so put some eggs under them. We have just built a 5m x 2m run with a three bay coup attached. The idea is that the hens have their own area which is about 3/4m by 2m in the covered coup where they can sit with the chicks. Then there are separate doors out for each hen to the main run. We thought we could let them out into the bigger run once the chicks are big enough. Thought as long as they are away from other ( laying hens ) that dont have chicks, they should be ok?.... BUT just reading on the net that hens with chicks can peck and attack other hens or chicks.....does anyone have experiences with this and have any tips?. any thoughts would be gratefully recieved !! cheers

  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    [​IMG] Welcome to the forum!! [​IMG] Glad you joined us!!![​IMG]

    Chickens are living animals, each with its own personality. You can never be sure what any one specific chicken will do. Some of the things that can happen if you have several broodies.

    Many people have multiple broodies share a nest and chicks with no problems. They'll hatch them together and raise them together.

    Many people have different broodies, each with their own chicks, raise them in the same area. They leave each other alone.

    Sometimes, if broodies are setting on different nests and one starts to hatch, the other broody abandons her nest and goes to help the other broody out when she hears the chicks peeping. Sometimes they share the hatching and raising duties and sometimes they fight to see which one gets the chicks. But this is only sometimes. Often they wil remain with their own eggs.

    Sometimes broodies sharing eggs will kill the chicks that hatch under the other hen. Sometimes, but not usually.

    Sometimes broodies on separate nests will kill the chicks that hatch under a different broody. Sometimes, but not that often.

    Sometimes one broody will try to take the chicks away from anothe broody, even if there is a pretty big age difference in the chicks.

    There are seveal other things that could happen, I'm sure. The bottom line is that you don't really know how yours will react. Many people regularly have multiple broodies together with no problems, but occasionally, things happen.

    On the non-broody hens. Broodies have been raising chicks with the flock for thousands of years. Sometimes there are problems, but often there are none. I do think how much room you have is important. Mama needs to have enough room to work with, but most broodies are very protective of their chicks. If any other chicken threatens her babies, Mama has an extremely ugly and violent attitude. That's most broodies, not all. And most hens will not go after a chick with intent to harm it. Most hens. If the chick leaves Mama's protection and goes to bother an older hen, the chick will probably get a pretty good peck. That peck is strong and could do damage, but it is not usually an attempt to kill the chick. It is a reminder that it needs to stay closer to Mama.

    If you do keep them separate, I strongly suggest you make sure there is no way a chick can get out and join the flock without Mama being there to protect it.

    Good luck!!! and again [​IMG]

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