Hens switching sitting on eggs.

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by monathequeen, Jun 22, 2010.

  1. monathequeen

    monathequeen Songster

    May 13, 2009
    Burlington KS
    Just want to know if it's normal to have two hens switching the sitting process.
    I have the original hen who became broody and has been sitting on 12 eggs for 12 days now.
    I candeled all of them and they are fertile.
    Now one of my other hens takes her place when mom goes to eat and drink....lately, mom cannot go back into the box because she has been replaced....this is ok with me as long as the eggs are being sat on consistantly....now when the eggs hatch, who will mother the chicks ??? the original mom or the new mom ??? will there be chaos from both hens fighting over the chicks ???
    I have less than two weeks to expect chicks. I tried seperating mom when she first became broody and moved the eggs and her at night...she wouldn
    t have it. so I put her and the eggs back where she was...thanks folks.
  2. EweSheep

    EweSheep Flock Mistress

    Jan 12, 2007
    Land of Lincoln
    Leave them be, they dont care whose eggs it belongs to as long they got eggs to set on. And they will mother them like any other chicks.
  3. monathequeen

    monathequeen Songster

    May 13, 2009
    Burlington KS
    Thanks EweSheep.

    I will let them be...I's does give eachother a much needed break from sitting...especially with this heat wave....Can't wait for hatch day....[​IMG]
  4. Ms Ellen

    Ms Ellen Songster

    Aug 8, 2008
    I have heard that hens will fight over chicks but that didn't happen in my case. I have a mother/daughter Silkie team that hatched together and raised the chicks together. They mostly sat together on the eggs though. The chicks are five weeks now, they did a good job.
  5. cthrash1

    cthrash1 Songster

    Apr 15, 2008
    Somerset, KY
    We have two mommas that killed chicks fighting over them so daughter took the remaining ones away from them. These two mommas were side by side in nests and one was constantly either taking the others nest or just flat out stealing her eggs. Now there's a new broody that decided to take miss piggys nest and to top it off those eggs are due to hatch any day now with one already pipped so this lucky lady won't have a long sitting and the piggy is gonna have to sit another week or two. While the third broody momma is still sitting tight on her original eggs... She isn't budging anymore, I think she's afraid piggy will take her eggs or nest again.
  6. darkmatter

    darkmatter Songster

    Jul 10, 2009
    Quote:Yes, my broody hens switch and/or share all the time, I only sometimes have to take a broody off a empty nestbox and place her back on the correct box with the eggs in it.
  7. AZKat

    AZKat Songster

    Apr 7, 2009
    Let them work it out. This is one of those chicken things, like the precise and proper arrangement of bedding in the coop, that humans Don't Understand. One may take over the nest, or they may end up co-parenting the chicks. Both are possible outcomes, but they know what they're doing.
  8. Nostalchic

    Nostalchic Songster

    It might depend to some degree on how invested you are in the outcome. I've had that same situation, and several of my eggs got broken in the competition (4 out of 10). If the hens had their "druthers" they'd probably have their own hidden, isolated nest that they wouldn't need to share, but we sort of force them to adjust to our system. I had 3 hens vying for the same eggs, and finally chose the most dominant of them (thinking she would be a better protector of the chicks, which she was) and isolated her in a separate room of the coop. She was just fine with this after about 2 minutes and this has worked out well for me. I really wanted to hatch the Maran eggs that I was given... if it were some of my own eggs and I had lots, I guess I wouldn't have worried about it. Love Darkmatter's take on this, too!
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2010
  9. DTRM30

    DTRM30 Songster

    May 25, 2009
    I have two silkies that were broody at the same time - and I let the more dominant hatch the eggs, but they've been sharing the chicks. both call to them to show them new goodies, and etc. - They've had a few scuffles - but nothing serious - and the "original" mom normally is the one that wins. She is also the one who didn't abandon the chicks when she took them out and the chicks didn't know how to get back in the coop by going up the ramp. The "other" momma was all snug in the coop and the "original" momma stayed with the chicks in the run. I've been trying to teach the chicks how to get up the ramp for a few days now - lets hope they catch on today !

    Anyway - I guess I'm just trying to say that they've been sharing the chicks and both seem happy. [​IMG]

    Now I just need to get my red sex-link to stop being broody and start laying again ! [​IMG]
  10. Ms Ellen

    Ms Ellen Songster

    Aug 8, 2008
    What is it with broody sex-links, someone forgot to tell them they were not supposed to go broody![​IMG]

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