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do broody hens share well?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by amazondoc, Mar 1, 2009.

  1. amazondoc

    amazondoc Cracked Egghead

    Mar 31, 2008
    Lebanon, TN
    Hey guys --

    I've got a bantam cochin pullet and a bantam Ameraucana/EE hen who have decided to go broody in the same box. They've been at it for at least a week now.

    Do hens tend to share incubating and chick duties well, or should I separate them? I can't see any signs of trouble so far, but I want to plan ahead. They had about 20 eggs in there -- mostly bantam cochin (I have two cochin hens in that coop, but only one EE), but I removed all but 6 EE eggs. So they're sharing 6 between them. I'm willing to let the girls hatch em, but I'd hate to see something bad happen to the babies.

    Thanks for any input!

    eta -- I did candle the cochin eggs when i removed them, and several of them were fertile and developing. I did NOT candle the EE eggs, but I would be surprised if they are not fertile. There are two eager roos in there -- one a LF Welsummer, the other a wheaten bantam ameraucana.
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2009

  2. As long as there are no arguements and they cover the eggs, let`m set. If they argue over the chicks, take one hen away. No big deal.
  3. PortageGirl

    PortageGirl Songster

    Nov 8, 2008
    Portage County, Ohio
    I had a pair that shared both the brooding and the raising, those chicks would go to either hen that was close, and the hens never fought over any of it.
  4. CityGirlintheCountry

    CityGirlintheCountry Green Eggs and Hamlet

    Jul 7, 2007
    Middle TN
    I had a broody take over half grown babies from another mama. Actually, the mama tired of motherhood and quit "babying" the babies so they moved over to the other broody. Even now the banty still sleeps with broody mama number two and the second round of babies. It was pretty sweet seeing all the babies cram up in the nest box with the broody.

    Can you seperate one hen and give her some more eggs?
  5. amazondoc

    amazondoc Cracked Egghead

    Mar 31, 2008
    Lebanon, TN
    Thanks guys! That makes me feel better.

    So far they are brooding snug up against each other, and I haven't seen any sign of discord. I think I'll let em work it out between themselves.

    I don't especially want any mixed chicks in the first place, so I don't think I'll give em any more eggs. But I thought it might be cute to see the moms take care of their little peeps!
  6. Jenski

    Jenski Songster

    Jun 17, 2008
    Middle Tennessee
    Hey Doc, please keep us posted on how your hens do on their little "project." I have two broody bantam cochins, and it has been somewhat of a pain finding them separate quarters for this. . .

    Good luck! Post pics!
  7. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Depends on the broody. I've seen them shared and them fought over. Had two on a nest once... chicks hatched, mothers guess fought over them or something, and resulted in the entire clutch smothered to death under one of the hens. Guess she didn't want to get up? I only let my one older sexlink brood now.

  8. Ondra's Seramas

    Ondra's Seramas Drowning in Seramas

    Feb 19, 2009
    North Central WA
    We rarely have hens that don't share when they brood. We have never had any problems with hens not sharing. Once we had 6 hens taking care of 7 chicks. This was the only time when there was actually a hen who was "in charge" and led the others.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 10, 2009
  9. amazondoc

    amazondoc Cracked Egghead

    Mar 31, 2008
    Lebanon, TN
    So far, so good. Both hens are still setting the eggs. The cochin is more dedicated at setting than the EE. The EE will get up more, but she also bites harder when I check on the eggs!

    Somebody, probably the other cochin, is still adding an egg to the nest every day, but I'm taking those out as I find em. So they've got the six bantam EE eggs that I'm letting em keep.

    Stay Tuned for further developments!
  10. walkswithdog

    walkswithdog Crowing

    Jul 17, 2008
    DC Region
    Go BROODIES!!!! Good luck [​IMG]

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