has anyone had 2 broodies hatch chicks together and raise them

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by tuesdays chicks, Oct 19, 2010.

  1. tuesdays chicks

    tuesdays chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 26, 2010
    stuart florida
    I only have 4 chickens no roosters all my chickens get along fine 3 bantam and 1 buff orp, the bantams all pullets the bo is a hen. 1st I had 1 broody and the girls were laying their eggs in her nest she seems quite content letting them, 1 pullet doesn't go in anymore the broody gets out of the nest for the bo and the other pullet was going right in with her to lay her egg but now that pullet has gone broody too, both are sitting on the eggs, I only have 3 eggs in the nest and the rest in the incubator I was hoping to slide the hatchlings in under the broody, they don't seem to be fighting over the eggs just sharing the sitting, will they fight over the chicks later? or will they both protect the chicks? all of my flock is very close never a squabble (all 4 of them anyway) I tried separating the broody out and she came off the nest and through a tantrum so I put her nest back with the others, so thats out of the question. I'm just wondering if I'll have to keep all the chicks in a separate brooder or try the 2 girls raising the chicks.
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    I once had two broodies raise two flocks together. The mamas were the same breed. Worked out fine.

    You won't know til you try; they are such individuals. They won't care if the chicks came from an incubator; slip them under at night the day they hatch.
     
  3. Chari

    Chari Out Of The Brooder

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    Yes. I had two hens sit on the same nest and they did great.[​IMG]
     
  4. NellaBean

    NellaBean Graceland Farms

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    My Coop
    I've had groups or 2 or 3 broodies raise chicks together. They generally do fine. I have had them "steal" chicks back and forth but havent' had any aggression problems.

    The good point is that if you have 2 or more hens working together, if anything "scary" comes up, 1 can stay with the chicks while the other "fights it". I had that happen a time or two.

    2 girls together
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    3 girls together
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    2 girls together
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    2 girls together
    [​IMG]

    4 broodies sitting together (they did not all hatch together though)
    [​IMG]

    3 girls together
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2010
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    You said you do not have a rooster. Are the eggs fertile? If you do not have a rooster, your eggs are not fertile unless you got fertile eggs from somewhere else.

    As you can see from the other posts, some people have had two broodies working together and it has worked out great. I have never tried it but I'll go through some of the things that have happened to other people that have posted on here for you to be on the watch for. I'm NOT saying that any of these will happen to you. I'm just saying these are some of the things that have happened to some other people and that you should be aware of.

    If you have two broodies sometimes one will kill the chicks that hatch under the other, whether they are sharing the same nest or are in nests close to each other. It is not that she is necessarily a bad mommy. She is protecting her chicks from rivals, even if hers have not hatched yet.

    Sometimes two broodies will fight over chicks or eggs with the chicks or eggs getting hurt or killed in the fights. This can happen even if each broody has her own chicks and the chicks are different ages. This does not mean she is a bad mommy. She has a strong broody instinct and wants to mother all chicks.

    Sometimes two broodies on separate nests will steal eggs from each other. They can actually carry an egg from one nest to another. They will also pick up an egg from another nest and carry it back to their own. If they steal eggs from each other and the eggs have different hatch dates, then the broody may leave her nest with the chicks that have hatched and abandon her unhatched eggs. It is important to mark the eggs under two different brookies differently so you can keep them straight. The hens sure cannot do it.

    Sometimes with two broodies on separate nests and with different hatch dates, the broody with the later set of eggs will hear the others hatching and abandon her nest to go to the chicks that are hatching. She may help raise the others or the two hens may fight. The end result is that her nest has been abandoned.

    Remember, I am not saying that any of these things will definitely happen. Many people have been successful with hens sharing the eggs and chicks. These are just some of the things that you should be aware might happen. Good luck!
     
  6. bufforp89

    bufforp89 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 26, 2009
    Chenango Forks NY
    I had a Mille Fluer hen and scovie hen hatch 4 scovie babies out this past spring.
     
  7. tuesdays chicks

    tuesdays chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 26, 2010
    stuart florida
    Thank you, I'm glad to hear it can actually work, my girls love each other and they all seem to know the eggs are going to hatch and babies are coming, they are so good together. I was watching the hen laying on the ground outside the nest with her head poking in the nest chatting away to the broody fixing the hay for her, it was beautiful.
     
  8. tuesdays chicks

    tuesdays chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 26, 2010
    stuart florida
    oh ridgerunner just saw your post yes I have read different things on fighting over chicks and things but don't usually hear about the good things that happen thats why I asked the question. I was waiting on the fertile eggs when the 1st pullet went broody she was broody for a week before I got the eggs and then she was sitting the 3 eggs for over a week when the other pullet became broody along with her and I mean along with her they are literally sharing the sitting and eggs between them in the same nest, 1 gets out and you look and the other is sitting all 3 eggs and if you look when they are both in the nest there will be 1 egg under 1 and 2 under the other next friday will be day 21 for all eggs, and I think those broodies have more of a chance of hatching those 3 eggs then I will in the incubator, fingers crossed we all do good, I'm going to try and move the broodies and their nest to the smaller coop and run on friday when it gets dark, I'm more worried about upsetting them then the risk of the other 2 chickens, but when the incubated chicks hatch it will be easier to sneak them in the nest there.
     
  9. Chickenaddict

    Chickenaddict Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I got mixed reviews on this subject. I let 2 broodies set on eggs together for the first time a few years ago. They shared the eggs just fine but when the first chick hatched they fought over it killing the baby. Second time I let 2 silkie girls hatch out a bunch of chicks together and they did great sharing the duties, the chicks didn't care who they got under as long as it was one of them. 3rd time 3 serama hens went broody in the same nest at different times. first few chicks hatched and the one suffocated. Thats when I seperated one of the hens with the rest of the eggs. Sometimes it works sometimes it doesn't. Be prepared to step in and seperate if need be.
     

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