Hens brooding together question

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by emount, Feb 5, 2017.

  1. emount

    emount Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 27, 2016
    NS Canada
    This is my first time with broody hens.

    I have a cochin that went broody on Feb 1. I let her keep 9 eggs from feb 1-2. She was in a large coop with 7 other hens and a Rooster. All the hens like to use the same nest box, so when she got up in the morning to eat, they would go in and lay eggs or they would go in with her. She is not aggressive. I can pick her up and take her off the eggs, and she doesn't react at all. If she wanted to go back on the nest but another chicken was in there, then she would just sit on the floor outside of the box.

    3 of her eggs got smashed and two of them I found broken at the other end of the coop this morning.

    Another of my chickens seems to have gone broody as well and is now sitting on the eggs with the cochin. She's more aggressive and squawks at me if I put my hand in.

    I have a smaller coop 4x4', where I keep a one-legged hen with a companion, because the rooster is too hard on her. I have moved the nest box into the small house with just the one-legged hen and the two broodies. I would like to hatch more than 6 eggs, but this is day 4/5. If I put more eggs in and some hatch, will the other hen stay sitting on the new eggs until they hatch? I don't think it's likely that she would go to a different box, so they'd be sharing all the eggs.

    My questions: Should I just leave them with the 6 eggs and wait until another hen goes broody to hatch more?

    If I move the second hen back to the big coop with her own eggs in an unfamiliar nest box, do you think she would stay broody?

    If I'm going to move one, moving the cochin would probably be better, because she seems much more determined to hatch eggs than the other one.
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2017
  2. red horse ranch

    red horse ranch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 24, 2014
    Buffalo Wyoming
    Since the Cochin seems the broodiest and easiest to handle I would put her in the smaller coop with the 6 eggs that she started. Without the other broody hen. The other hen should start with fresh eggs in a new nest in your other coop. If she isn't broody enough and refuses to accept a new nest then you haven't really lost anything yet. I have tried using 2 broodies on the same set of eggs and too many of the eggs will be broken. And they are both likely to want any chicks that do survive to hatch. The dominant hen will end up with the chicks. I try to isolate any hen that goes broody so that other hens don't continue to lay eggs in the same nest. I hope you get some chicks! [​IMG]
     
  3. emount

    emount Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 27, 2016
    NS Canada
    Thank you. the one-legged hen is a buff orpington and I just checked and all three of them are sitting on the eggs now. I will move the more aggressive hen back to the big coop. I just got a new box for the big coop and I will move her in there with however many eggs I get tomorrow, probably not many, since everyone seems to be going broody... in February.
     
  4. red horse ranch

    red horse ranch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Buffalo Wyoming
    Lucky you! My hens just finally started laying again after their winter break. I'm seeing some breeding going on now so maybe I'll have a broody hen before long.[​IMG]
     
  5. emount

    emount Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 27, 2016
    NS Canada
    I removed the langshan and she's roosting now. The eggs I gave her today are ice cold, so I put them in the fridge.

    The orpington is now standing up in the box, so I think she's just lonely and wants to be near the other chicken. The cochin is still going strong sitting on the 6 eggs.

    All is arranged as well as it can be, so now I'm just waiting until day 21. I'm going to start keeping more eggs on hand, in case I need some to put under a future broody chicken. I gave away 2 dozen eggs the day before she started setting and so I gave her a few that I had left from the fridge and what the other hens laid that day.

    I hope you get some broodies soon. What kind of chickens do you have?

    I'm expecting all black chicks, because the rooster and most of the hens are black langshans. I had a couple of eggs crossed with barred rock, that could have had barring, but I think they both got smashed. The cochin is splash, and I wanted some blue chicks from her, but I don't think any of the eggs are hers. It's hard to tell because they look very similar to my smallest black hen's eggs. Maybe there will be a surprise blue chick.

    My sister and I want to try some different crosses between barred rock, langshan and cochin to see what makes a good meat chicken for us. We like aspects of each of them and it will be fun crossing them to see what we get.
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2017
  6. red horse ranch

    red horse ranch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 24, 2014
    Buffalo Wyoming
    Sounds like you have everything under control now. I think the langshan wasn't very broody if she gave up that quickly.

    I have probably 20 to 25 different breeds of hens. They range in age from pullets to 10 years old. I try to have a variety all the time. But I've never had a langshan. I do have a beautiful young solid black cochin rooster tho and he will be my main breeder this spring. Which means I'll have a lot of black chicks with feathered legs. I also have a bantam brama rooster but he is 7 years old. My other 2 roosters are australorp mix but they are 4 and 6 years old and may not produce too well. I never know what the chicks will look like and that's what makes hatching so much fun!

    I do most of my hatching with the incubator since I usually have a lot of people wanting to buy my young chickens. But I normally have at least 6 to 8 of my hens going broody sometime thru the summer. I also have guineas and most of the females will go broody too so there's usually babies around here all summer. I love it! [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2017
  7. emount

    emount Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 27, 2016
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    This morning, two of the eggs were out of the nest and cold. I put them back under her, but later I thought maybe I shouldn't have. I candled all six today and one had a chip in the shell and a blood ring. I took that one out. 3 are progressing very well. The other two I can't tell. 2 had very porous shells (one of the good ones and one that I can't tell).
     

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