Got A broody question..... or two

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by lockedhearts, May 9, 2009.

  1. lockedhearts

    lockedhearts It's All About Chicken Math

    Apr 29, 2007
    Georgia
    My barred cochin hen and my Partridge are both Broody, well actually the Partridge I think is just going along with the other hen. She is way less committed and I can take her off the nest and she stays off for several hours.
    They share eggs when both in the box.
    They have 5 eggs and those are developing. Tomorrow is Day 18. I set up a seperate area in the run for the hen and we will finish her "coop" tomorrow and move.
    Question 1) I only plan on moving the Barred Hen, I think she will be ok, has anyone done this (had 2 nesting together and just let one hatch?)

    Question 2) I am hatching some miscellaneous eggs from my hens as I type, would it be a good idea to slip one or 2 chicks under her tomorrow night, just in case the eggs do not hatch?

    This is my second broody ecperience, the first go around did not turn out so well and I had to rescue the chicks. I think Minnie will make a great mama.
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

    20,118
    3,322
    496
    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    Question 1) I only plan on moving the Barred Hen, I think she will be ok, has anyone done this (had 2 nesting together and just let one hatch?)

    A great question. I very strongly recommend that only one hatch and raise the chicks. Occasionally you will see posts where two hens successfully hatched and raised chicks together, but usually the two hens will fight over who gets to raise them, many times with the chicks getting hurt in the process. A couple of days a go, someone posted where three hens were hatching together and two of the hens killed the chicks as they hatched. They obviously became confused. The Partridge needs to be broken from being broody. Put her in an elevated cage with a wire bottom so her bottom gets cooled off. Do not give her any bedding or nesting material. If you don't have the elevated wire-bottomed, just isolating her will work, but it might take longer. And see that she has food and water. Some people say to starve them during this process, but I've never seen that to be necessary.

    Question 2) I am hatching some miscellaneous eggs from my hens as I type, would it be a good idea to slip one or 2 chicks under her tomorrow night, just in case the eggs do not hatch?

    No. If you put the chicks under her too soon, she may leave the nest before her eggs hatch. A chick can go about 3 days without food and water. You may force the hen to choose between letting the chicks die of thirst or leaving the eggs unhatched.

    If you wish, after she has left the nest, you can put the chicks under her and she will probably accept them. Rubbing a cloth on the hen then gently rubbing the chicks with this cloth to get the smell on them may improve your chances. You'll need to monitor to see if she accepts them or considers them intruders and tries to kill them.

    Good Luck!
     
  3. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Karen, when I've put chicks under a broody and she had eggs, I did it the night before the day the eggs were supposed to hatch or maybe they were already pipping, can't recall exactly, but it was right at hatch time. It worked perfectly.
     
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

    20,118
    3,322
    496
    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    Quote:I hate to appear to disagree with you as I think you have great experience, but.......

    The way I read this post, there is at least two days difference in when the already hatched chicks area available and the broody eggs hatch. I stand by my advise to at least wait until the other eggs have hatched and the hen can take them off the nest. If they were all hatching at the same time, my advise would be different.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by