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Hens Hatching Their Own Chicks

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by KerenR, Apr 20, 2016.

  1. KerenR

    KerenR Out Of The Brooder

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    I have 4 broody hens, each in their own box, in a building just for them and their babies. One of the hen's chicks have hatched, and the other three are still sitting on eggs (though one left her eggs to be a co-mama with another hen...).

    One of the hens whose eggs has not hatched yet puffs up if the chicks come near her. She came off her eggs for water and when the chicks walked by, she froze and puffed way up. I've seen this several times over the past two days.

    My questions is, is she showing signs that she will turn on her chicks when they hatch? Or does she just not like them because she knows they're not hers? I'm just wondering if I should take her out before her chicks hatch, and give the eggs to one of the other mamas.

    Thank you so much!
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2016
  2. ChickNanny13

    ChickNanny13 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Not an expert but I'm thinking she knows that chick isn't hers, I'd leave her. Hopefully someone with experience with peep in soon.
     
  3. SIMZ

    SIMZ Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Northwest Indiana
    I'd say she's puffing up to warn everyone to stay away from her nest. My broody hens do that - and will do that to anything that comes around - including another hen's chicks. I wouldn't worry about her turning on her chicks over that. Just make sure all the hens have plenty of room to stay out of each other's way. They may go after other chicks that get to close to their own. Good luck!
     
  4. KerenR

    KerenR Out Of The Brooder

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    We have 4 hens in an 8x8 brooder. Is that enough room? 2 hens are mothering the same 7 chicks. So that leaves 2 hens' chicks besides the 7 already hatched.
     
  5. SIMZ

    SIMZ Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think that's too small, but I've never tried that. If you have an outside area as well it is probably fine. Mine have our large fenced in yard to keep to themselves, and the hens and chicks wander pretty far and wide. I'd keep a close watch on the hens once the other two hatch. There is a great broody hen thread on here https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/496101/broody-hen-thread/10090#post_16143613

    You can ask there. I've gotten great help and advice there!
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2016

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