Have you ever...?? (broody hen question)

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by shelleyd2008, Sep 19, 2011.

  1. shelleyd2008

    shelleyd2008 the bird is the word

    23,384
    34
    351
    Sep 14, 2008
    Adair Co., KY
    A few months ago, both of my splash OEGB hens were broody and sat on the same nest, but when the chicks hatched the hens just kept on sitting. I took the chicks and eggs away and eventually they gave up. But neither hen showed any interest in mothering the chicks.
    Recently, one of the 2 hens had been setting eggs for the past few weeks and now has 6 chicks. I took away the first chick because it wasn't under her at all and was very cold, then the hen left the nest early, leaving a newborn and a pipped egg in the nest. I brought those in along with another egg that hadn't pipped. Yesterday, mama hen had 3 babies and last night I gave her the other 3 (egg #7 hasn't yet hatched but is working on it).

    I went out there this morning to check and make sure the 'new' babies weren't getting abused or neglected and BOTH hens were sitting on chicks?? [​IMG] I understand mama sitting on them, but the other hen wasn't even broody and still hasn't started laying again since when she was broody.

    Have you ever had a hen mother chicks even when she wasn't broody?Weird....but cool [​IMG]

    ETA: The 'non-mama' hen was also clucking to the babies for food...she is definitely mothering them.
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2011
  2. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

    4,852
    32
    249
    May 23, 2009
    DFW
    It sounds confusing to me, maybe your hens are confused, too? Instinct usually makes the hen lead her chicks off the nest after around 2-3 days from the first hatch, because hatched chicks need to eat and drink and they can't wait much longer to do this.

    I separated each of my broodies from the rest of the flock in separate housing so there would be no interference from other hens and no eggs added to the nest. The other thing I noticed when I inadvertently let two broodies with their chicks out in the yard at the same time is that serious fighting between the hens ensued.
     
  3. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Overrun With Chickens

    9,279
    727
    321
    Apr 11, 2011
    Tn
    My silver pheonix hen is the worst sitter ever. She breaks eggs, switches nests, abandons them, she's never gotten a single egg to hatch. That being said, she's one of the best mommas ever. I don't even let her attempt to brood eggs anymore, but she's stolen babies from other broodies, raised bought chicks (chickens, geese and turkeys) and has always been great with them [​IMG]
     
  4. shelleyd2008

    shelleyd2008 the bird is the word

    23,384
    34
    351
    Sep 14, 2008
    Adair Co., KY
    I don't separate my hens from the group unless there's a problem....so far I've never had a problem.

    Both hens are sleeping in the nest tonight with the babies. It's a 5-gal. bucket laid on its side so I know there's plenty of room for 2 bantam hens and 6 baby chicks. I just can't believe that the other hen has decided she is 'mom' too. She hasn't laid one egg since they were broody and she was not broody this time. Yesterday, when there were only 3 babies out there, the hen who was broody took care of them and the other acted like normal along with sleeping on the roost. Very weird [​IMG]

    I should say I've never had a 'big' problem other than the occasional egg donor in the nest.
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2011

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by