Mamma hen

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Emar, Dec 8, 2012.

  1. Emar

    Emar Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 8, 2012
    So many questions... Where to start. My husband talked me into getting a roo. He's 8 months and absolutely huge and beautiful! I believe he is a red star. We named him Theodore. I have four silver wyandottes Lacy, Whittie, Oreo, and Speckles. We let him have his way with one of my girls, Lacy. Theo is not in the main coop. it was a "controled" mating. We dont have a coop ready for her yet, so we put her back in the main coop with the other girls. Here is where my questions come into play. Do I need/have to remove her from the main coop? If and when she becomes broody will the chicks be safe with the other hens? There are two eggs in the nest box now, should I leave them in? I'm not share who laid them and if shes not sitting on them does that mean she didnt lay them? Are rep enough to make her broody? I'm currently building a coop I think would be suitable for Lacy and her chicks, any suggestions for a coop design would be greatly appreciated. I know chicks need to be dry. I live in key west fl so it's still warm out and pretty dry. Ill try to post pics of them and the coop process later. I just want to have minimal loss with the chicks and enough space for her to be comfortable.
     
  2. Emar

    Emar Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 8, 2012
    Since I do live in key west, space is limited so I would have to work with the minimum sizes for a coop.
     
  3. 1muttsfan

    1muttsfan Overrun With Chickens

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    Simply being bred will not cause a hen to go broody. If that was how it worked I would have 25 broody hens! She - or one of your other hens, bred or not - may eventually go broody, but that happens on hen time and there is no way to cause it to happen. Go ahead and collect your eggs. You could put a wooden egg or two in your boxes if you wanted to leave something in them.

    If you want to collect her eggs specially to incubate, you will find it hard to identify then if she is in with the other hens. Once a hen lays an egg, they walk away and are no longer interested in it.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2012
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    It sounds like we need to clear up a few misconceptions. Whether or not a rooster is around has absolutely nothing to do with a hen going broody. Whether they are laying fertile eggs or unfertile eggs has nothing to do with a hen going broody. Whether or not a hen goes broody depends on hormones. The presence of a rooster or her laying fertile eggs has nothing to do with that. I don’t know of any way to make a hen go broody. Many people will tell you many different things that they think works but those things somehow don’t work for anyone else.

    Some hens go broody a lot. Many never go broody. There is no telling when a hen will actually go broody if she ever does, but normally it is in the spring and summer, the best months for raising baby chicks.

    After they are laid a hen cannot distinguish between her eggs or any others. A hen will accept golf balls or wooden or ceramic eggs as hers.

    Why do you think you may need to separate her from the rest of the flock? Why are you keeping the rooster separate and away from the other hens? Some people don’t want to eat fertile eggs while others pay extra for fertile eggs. But in reality there is no real difference in fertile or non-fertile eggs except that if you incubate a fertile egg, it can develop into a chick. Fertile eggs look the same, cook the same, and taste the same as non-fertile eggs.

    Hens have been raising chicks with the flock for thousands of years. They are living animals and there might occasionally be a problem (and I am a firm believer that the amount of space Mama has to work with makes a big difference) but as long as Mama has room to work, losses are fairly rare.

    If you still have questions please ask. I know if you don’t have experience with them it is real easy to have these kinds of misconceptions. Hopefully we can help you out.
     
  5. Emar

    Emar Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 8, 2012
    Thank you for clearing things up! it helped me understand a lot :)

    Space is my main concern. I don't have a lot of it. They're now in a coop aprox 5x5 with an attached run that's aprox 5x8 with 5x5 space under the coop. Very limited.

    The reason why I wanted to separate them is bc of space and saftey. I wouldn't want the roo or other hens getting aggressive with each other especially the chicks. Another big reason why the roo is separated is bc the hens are on my parents side of the house and they can't stand the wake up call at 3:20 in the morning. There is no space on our side of the house and my mother doesn't want chickens on that side.(more limitations)

    If the main coop is large enough for a momma to raise her chicks with the other hens, should the coop I'm making now be for the roo? It's 4x6 including the run/space for him to scratch. I know it's small but like I said, I'm limited on space.
     
  6. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    You have some unique situations. That's what there is seldom one answer that fits us all. We have to tailor it to our specific situation. Frankly you may just not have enough room to do what you want. I'm not sure exactly how much room you do have overall.

    But that 4x6 will be plenty big enough for a solitary rooster.
     
  7. 1muttsfan

    1muttsfan Overrun With Chickens

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    In general, you should plan for 4 square feet of flour space per bird in the coop. Each of your coops would comfortably house 6 birds, given additional run space to spread out during the day. If you plan on keeping him inside all the time, the coop is big enough for him and maybe 2 girlfriends. He may overbreed a single hen.
     

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