Hatching chicks with my Bufforpintons and silkie

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by PrettyChickens, Nov 15, 2016.

  1. PrettyChickens

    PrettyChickens Just Hatched

    22
    1
    14
    Nov 11, 2016
    I have a Silkie rooster and I am planning on hatching chicks with my two Bufforpingtons and my Silkie. I have sixteen chickens total but my rooster only mates with my Silkie. I have a few questions on hatching:) When my eggs hatch, will the rooster accidentally kills the chicks? The Silkie is very low down in the pecking order and I am worried she would get kicked out of the nesting box by bigger hens laying eggs. Since the rooster only mates my Silkie will he try and do that to her while she is laying her eggs? Should I confine the broody hen and keep water, litter and food in her area for her? How long can she be off her eggs? Thanks[​IMG]
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

    20,123
    3,323
    496
    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    When my eggs hatch, will the rooster accidentally kills the chicks?

    As long as they are introduced to the rooster relatively young he assumes they are his and will sometimes help Mama take care of them. If you wait until the cockerels are old enough to be seen as rivals instead of offspring when you introduce them, he can have a problem with them. A mature rooster is very unlikely to harm a chick. You are dealing with living animals so no one can give you guarantees but I absolutely do not worry about my mature roosters around chicks.

    The other hens might be a problem. I have hens raise chicks with the flock all the time. I’ve never lost a chick to another adult flock member. Occasionally another hen will show interest in the chicks, even threaten them. It doesn’t happen often but I have seen it happen. I’ve never had a broody hen fail to beat the crap out of any hen that threatens her chicks regardless of where they stand in the pecking order. But others on this forum that I trust say they have. I can’t say it is high risk or low risk. If it happens it’s 100%, if it doesn’t happen it’s 0%. There is not a lot of middle ground here but I will say I’ve never seen it.

    The Silkie is very low down in the pecking order and I am worried she would get kicked out of the nesting box by bigger hens laying eggs.

    Again you are dealing with living animals so that might happen. Once I did see a mature hen grab a pullet (not broody) by the head and jerk her out of the nest so she could lay her egg where she wanted to so I can’t say it is impossible. But what happens a lot more often is that the other hen climbs into the nest with the broody hen and lays her egg while sharing the nest. Occasionally a broody hen will not allow another hen in the nest with her. With my flock over the years problems with this are pretty rare. What does happen more often is that while the broody hen is off the nest eating, drinking, and pooping, another hen climbs into her nest to lay an egg. If her nest is occupied when she returns the broody might go to a different nest. It does not always happen, it does not usually happen. But it does sometimes happen. One time I found a hen on the wrong nest and her eggs were really cold to the touch. I put her back on the right nest. About a week later she hatched 11 out of 11 eggs. Of all these concerns the hen going back to the wrong nest is the only one that concerns me. That doesn’t happen often and is usually not a big deal when it does. But it happens.

    Since the rooster only mates my Silkie will he try and do that to her while she is laying her eggs?

    I think what you mean is while she is broody and sitting on her eggs. You are dealing with living animals so it is really hard to say never. The vast majority of mature roosters will not try to mate a broody hen when she is off her nest taking her daily constitutional. Immature cockerels sometimes will. On very rare occasions a mature rooster might. But I have a real hard time imagining a rooster trying to mate a hen while she is on her nest. That is not at all on my radar.

    Should I confine the broody hen and keep water, litter and food in her area for her?

    Some people like me let broody hens hatch eggs with the flock. Others for legitimate reasons isolate their broody hens while they incubate and hatch. Some people isolate their broody hens with the chicks while she raises them, others like me really like the broody to raise them with the flock so she takes care of integration. I can’t tell you what you should do but you sound like a candidate to isolate her for your first time anyway so you see what she can do. That’s true whether it is your Silkie or one of the others that goes broody.

    How long can she be off her eggs


    I’ve seen hens in hot weather leave the nest twice a day and stay off the eggs for over an hour each time. In colder weather I’ve seen hens leave the nest once a day for about 15 minutes. Normally I don’t see them off the nest at all but I know they are getting up because they are not pooping in the nest. That’s something I leave up to the hen.
     
  3. PrettyChickens

    PrettyChickens Just Hatched

    22
    1
    14
    Nov 11, 2016
    Thank you so MUCH!! That was very helpful[​IMG]
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by