Does a broody hen need a special place?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by horsewishr, Sep 26, 2007.

  1. horsewishr

    horsewishr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm sure a private brooder is preferred. But is it necessary?

    Can a broody hen just sit in a nest box and hatch a clutch? Do the babies stick close to mom, or do you have to worry about them falling out of the nest? Is it OK for mom and babies to be in with other adult chickens?
     
  2. bantymum

    bantymum Chillin' With My Peeps

    Some adult chickens will kill the babies, some dont!!!
    and they will accidently stomp on them as well.
    The mother hen will also attack the other adults.
    If you have a broody, its possible to leave her in there but you need to place chicken wire around her to stop the other hens jumping on her to get to nest to lay theirs.
    Its best to give your broody a lovely quiet spot of her own, even a cardboard box will suffice in the short term, you have it on its side so she can get in and out.
     
  3. MyPerfectChicken

    MyPerfectChicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Just wondering... after she hatchs chicks when would it be a good time to place her back with the other adults?? [​IMG]
     
  4. bantymum

    bantymum Chillin' With My Peeps

    when the chicks are at least 3/4 grown is safest to put her back in to main coop. Mine have a dedicated nursery coop so they can grow to full size before having to fight for roosting rights.
     
  5. MyPerfectChicken

    MyPerfectChicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Now, will this stress them out? I mean you've taken the hen away for such and such amount of time, so would they want her back? or would they redo the whole pecking order??

    I'm sorry for taking over the post..
     
  6. horsewishr

    horsewishr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    No problem, MPC. I have the same questions.
     
  7. Tuffoldhen

    Tuffoldhen Flock Mistress

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    I've had it happen both ways...putting a hen right back in after she hatched her chicks, taking them away from her with no problems putting her back in with the flock...then I've had a pecking order occur to with one that was kept with her chicks for acouple months but things work out within a few days...just keep her where they can see her and introduce her back in at dusk when its roosting time...

    Like the others have said...it's best to keep the broody penned in a cage or nestbox away from the other hens.you have to provide enough space for her feed and water and a place to poo....first, they will try to lay in the box with the hatching eggs and second if the nest is up high the chicks will fall out and not be able to get back ....plus the other hens can mis-treat them...
     
  8. bantymum

    bantymum Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have silky bantams so I dont have much of a pecking order as they are very laid back and couldnt care less who did what with who!
    Ive found that mine all go broody within a few days of each other so they all go back to coop around the same time.
    However i have 2 standards who dont mind them coming back to the coop. The nursery is situated so that they can still see each other.
     
  9. Red

    Red Chillin' With My Peeps

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    When one of my girls went broody and we got her some fertile eggs we weren't sure whether to seperate her from the other hens or not. We left her in for a day or two, but one of the fertile eggs got smashed by one of the other hens jumping up into the nest box to lay [​IMG]

    We removed our broody until her chicks were old enough to look after themselves, and then moved her back in with the other adult hens, and they were fine. They just went straight back to the 'old' pecking order same as it used to be...that's my experience anyway, hope it helps!

    Red
     
  10. skeeter9

    skeeter9 Chillin' With My Peeps

    I recently had a very different experience putting a broody back in with her old flock. For hatching and raising her chicks, she was in a pen that adjoined her old pen. There is just chicken wire separating the two pens. When it was obvious she was done raising her little ones, I let her free-range with her old flock. One of the hens tried to kill her. So I gave it a few more days, then tried again. This time they seemed fine, so I let her go back to her old koop for the night. For a couple of days everything seemed fine, then one morning I opened the egg door and found her all ripped up. Apparently the other hens (there are 3 in that coop) decided they didn't want her in there any more. She was very badly injured and I wasn't sure she was going to make it. Once she was doing well, I let her out to free-range. Unfortunately, one of my daughters opened the other coop not realizing that she was out and the 3 hens tried to kill her again - my daughter caught them red-handed. So, back to the hospital cage she went, and she's doing ok at this point.

    I have no idea why these hens would attack one of their own flock, especially since they have been right next to each other during the raising of her chicks.

    I haven't come across anyone else with this kind of problem, so hopefully it's just a fluke, but my suggestion would be to watch your girls carefully to make sure they are just re-establishing pecking order and aren't trying to kill your broody.

    Lori
     

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