First time momma

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by TroyerGal, Sep 9, 2016.

  1. TroyerGal

    TroyerGal Chillin' With My Peeps

    Hi :) I'm gonna be a first time hatchling mama! I currently have a broody red sex link sitting on about 15 small eggs. She's "due" in 8 days!!!!!! [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
    She's sitting in a nesting box right now... I tried to move her and the eggs to a safer place in the coop, but she wouldn't have it :p
    Will she be okay in the box when the chicks are born? Will the other chickens hurt the chicks?
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    First you are dealing with living animals. No one can give you any guarantees any way you go.

    Broody hens have been hatching eggs and raising chicks with the flock ever since there have been chickens. The vast majority of the time this goes fine, no problems at all. Sometimes there are problems if they hatch with the flock. Sometimes there are problems if you try to isolate a broody when she is incubating, hatching, or raising chicks with the flock. None of this comes with a guarantee.

    Sometimes a broody hen will reject some or all of the chicks she hatches. It doesn’t matter if she is isolated from the rest of the flock or not. It doesn’t necessarily mean there is anything wrong with the chicks. Sometimes another hen will try to harm the chicks. This is really rare and usually the broody hen will protect her chicks but it can possibly happen. Normally the rooster is very protective of the chicks or at least does not threaten them at all. Whether he is the daddy or not, he assumes they are his so the rooster will often help Mama. Since they are living animals and there are a tremendous number of chickens out there, I’m sure someone somewhere has had a problem with a rooster, but that is extremely rare. Any rooster that does that needs to go. He’s just not right in the head.

    What does the coop and nest look like? A photo could help. I’ve seen hens get chicks out of a ten feet high hay loft, so height of the nest doesn’t bother me. My broody hens practically always take their chicks to a corner of the coop to spend the night instead of trying to get them in a nest anyway. Even if the nest is near the floor they usually don’t go back to the nest. Other people have said they’ve had that happen though. This stuff doesn’t come with guarantees.

    If it worries you, maybe you can fence off a part of the coop including the nest to keep the other chickens away from her while she is hatching. Make the area big enough that you can put food and water on the floor of the coop where the chicks can get to them. I like to use a pet bowl for water and fill it with rocks so the chicks can walk on it and not drown. I leave the broody hen alone and let her decide when the chicks need to come off the nest. Sometimes that is within 24 hours of the first one hatching, sometimes that’s over three days. I figure she knows more about what she is doing than I do since she is talking to the chicks before they hatch. She knows when more are coming.

    I have never had other chickens, hens or the rooster, harm any chick that is hatching or under the broody, with one exception. Just before the hen was due to hatch another hen went broody. When the first chicks started talking to Mama before they hatched, the new broody fought with Mama to take over the eggs. Some eggs were damaged in that fight. That was only once in all the times I’ve done this. That’s not enough to cause me to isolate my broody hens but I do toss any other broody hens in my broody buster pretty quickly if I have a broody on eggs. Many people have multiple broody hens on different nests in the coop at the same time and don’t have this problem. It just shows that about anything can happen. There is not any one right answer to this where all other options are wrong, it’s just which way you decide to go. Most of them work fine.
     
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