First time hatching and going natural!

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by bailey'smama, Jan 13, 2011.

  1. bailey'smama

    bailey'smama Out Of The Brooder

    20
    0
    22
    Oct 27, 2010
    One of my hens turned quite broody on me about 2 weeks ago, and has since been sitting on 4 lovely, fertilized eggs. I expect them to start hatching next week, and realized that while she seems to know what she's doing, I don't have a clue!

    First of all, I have one rooster and two hens. As our weather has been quite cold, I've left them all in the same coop together. There hasn't seemed to be any problems, but when the chicks hatch, can I expect my rooster to leave them alone? And if he doesn't, can I expect Mama Hen to keep him in line? or does she really need her own quarters for chick raising?

    Also, do I let her keep her chicks or do I take them inside to hand raise for a few weeks?

    Help!
     
  2. danielle82

    danielle82 A Good Egg

    Apr 27, 2009
    Tonasket Wa
    I let a hen hatch 11, and didn't have any trouble with the rooster...one of my other hens kept bugging the babies (pecking at them when tried to get a drink or if they wandered too close to her or breathed her air i guess), so i did end up segragating the momma for about a week or two. But if that one hen hadn't been so weird towards the chicks I think they woulda been fine. I have a rather large chicken yard though,
     
  3. bailey'smama

    bailey'smama Out Of The Brooder

    20
    0
    22
    Oct 27, 2010
    I have a small coop, but they are only enclosed at night. During the day, they roam free on our acreage.
     
  4. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

    34,028
    453
    448
    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    My broodies have raised their chicks in with the flock. In my experience, either the roos ignored the chicks or they kind of stood guard and at least acted like they would protect them. The only attackers have been other hens. Mostly the mama chased and pecked the attacker, or sometimes just when another hen got too close to suit her. I have had the broody kill her chicks, too, one time. I never had another hen seriously attack new chicks, only peck at them as if to say, you're not top dog. But this is only about 4 batches of chicks. I have a mama with a 6 week old now, which she's ignoring mroe and more, and a broody setting 7 eggs in a nest in the coop. Last time I did separate the family during the hatch but it only lasted a couple of days as the chicks wanted out in the coop (the broody pen is maybe 5' x 6' but needs securing.)
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by