flock of broodies

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by flakey chick, May 30, 2010.

  1. flakey chick

    flakey chick Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 3, 2007
    I'd like some advice/options about my broodies. My alpha hen has been on fertile eggs for one week. My other girl has just started to go broody. I was wondering if I should give her a couple of the other hens eggs. Unfortunately my 2 hens do not get along very well. Alpha hen is a bit mean to the one on the bottom of the pecking order.
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    Depends on your goals and set-up. There are a few other threads active about multiple broodies. Some people never have problems with it and some do. There are ways to deal with the potential problems, usually involving separating the hens. If you decide to give the other hen eggs, you might give a description of your set-up and maybe some of us can give you specific advice.

    If you decide to break the broody, this might help.

    Break a Broody Thread

    Some of the things that can go wrong.

    1. Broodies will sometimes steal eggs from each other. When one hen goes on break for her daily constitutional, the other hen tucks one of her eggs under her wing and takes it back to her nest. They will also pick up other eggs the other hens lay. That is why you need to mark the eggs so you can tell which hen gets which eggs as well as remove the fresh ones daily, especially when they have different hatch dates.

    2. Broodies can get confused as to which nest to go to. They both may wind up setting on the same eggs, the others get cold and die.

    3. Sometimes the broodies will fight over the eggs and chicks. Sometimes eggs get broken, chicks get injured or killed, or a broody gets hurt.

    4. One broody may kill the chicks that hatch under the other broody, whether they are sharing a nest or are just nesting close by.

    5. If the eggs have different hatch times, the broody with the later eggs may hear the other chicks as they hatch and abandon her unhatched eggs, going to assist the other broody in raising the chicks. Sometimes the broodies will work well together as a team, raising the chicks and sometimes they fight over who gets to raise them.

    I'm probably forgetting a few things that could go wrong. I'm not saying that any of these things will definitely go wrong in your case. I'm just saying there is a possibility. Many people in your situation give eggs to the second broody and things go great. It just depends on the individual hens.

    Good luck whichever way you decide.

    Editted to add this link to one of the active threads.

    Last edited: May 30, 2010
  3. flakey chick

    flakey chick Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 3, 2007
    Well, I only have the 2 girls. I used to have a third who was at the top. She ate a baby from the one who has been sitting for a week. I think I will break the lower order hen.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by