Multiple broodies- how to house?

Jrose

Songster
6 Years
Jun 6, 2013
493
115
156
I've read through a few old topics but couldn't find much advice.

I have 1 turkey hen setting 21 chicken eggs. She's 10 days from hatch, isolated in my 70 sq ft broody pen in her own mini coop.

Well, my other turkey hen (who just hatched a brood of 26 chicks in March) decided to go broody and claimed 21 chicken eggs too! Magic number I guess! This was just yesterday (Monday). So I tried moving her last night o a 1x2 enclosed wooden crate with a small entrance (used it for kindling rabbits once) in my currently empty 100 sq ft 'rabbit' pen. She had a fit, crushed a few eggs, and escaped in a rage within minutes. So much for sleepy birds at night! I immediately tried to move her to the goat kid 'house' where she brooded her last batch of chicks (she didn't hatch the clutch in the house, she just moved in after the chicks hatched!). Poor goaties were put out for the night! I enclosed this area (150 sq ft) thinking I'd solved the problem. But this morning she'd broken free (no idea how!) and was pacing the main coop stressing to get back to her old nest. I let her in, she hopped right back into the favorite box and pancaked on the empty nest. I brought her eggs back in and started racking my brain on where to put her. She was happy to see them and accept them!

It gets better!

This turkey hen got off the nest to eat breakfast with the chickens (I have 20 chickens and 2 turkey hens) and one of my year-old turken hens spotted this huge clutch of 20 eggs and claimed it! She's in full broody mode, squished flat trying in vain to cover all the eggs and screaming bloody murder if I get near her.

I do want all the broodies I can get right now, I've got a lot of demand for chicks and my incubator is full.

So my questions are:

1. How do other folks accommodate multiple broodies?
2. Can I place all three broodies in the same 70 sq ft pen if one is going to hatch out chicks in 10 days? Will the new chicks running around call them off the nest?
3. Will the broodies fight? The turkeys are docile birds but fierce mamas, and my turken girl has a calm disposition.
4. Is egg stealing between broodies sharing a nest a serious issue?

I thought to move the eggs from my incubator to one of the broodies, just so I don't have to do the work. tThey're due in 14 days- so I would have a clutch hatch in 10, another in 14, and another in 21.

Any other thoughts would be appreciated! Thanks!

If I had known I just had to leave two dozen eggs in one nest box to start a broody fest I would've done it months ago
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Fentress

Songster
7 Years
Mar 22, 2012
588
86
168
Chesapeake, Va.
general rule is that the broodies need to be isolated, otherwise they will share nests with other hens or other broodies and the eggs will not get proper coverage. Also, only chicken broodies may allow themselve to be relocated once they go broody. Other types of poultry will not tolerate relocation, so you have to plan on enticing them to make a nest in a conveinent location that you can then put barriers around to isolate them.
 

Jrose

Songster
6 Years
Jun 6, 2013
493
115
156
general rule is that the broodies need to be isolated, otherwise they will share nests with other hens or other broodies and the eggs will not get proper coverage. Also, only chicken broodies may allow themselve to be relocated once they go broody. Other types of poultry will not tolerate relocation, so you have to plan on enticing them to make a nest in a conveinent location that you can then put barriers around to isolate them.

Darn!
Well, I at least got the new turken broody to accept the nest box next door with half a dozen eggs. It saves the two of the battling over the one nest (that was a sight to see!).

I've moved both my turkeys before with perfect success, but only to the broody coop and never at the same time. I've never tried anywhere else (like the goat house or kindling box). I do have a home-made setup for goat hay made out of an old bookshelf that has two separate compartments- one chicken sized and one turkey sized! I may try that tonight. It's loftier and more comforting than the kindling box or kid house. The chickens enjoy laying eggs in it.

What about nest hieght? The 'chicken sized' compartment I'd like to try is about 2' off the ground with a small ramp for the birds. The chicks could get out, but not back up...
 

howfunkyisurchicken

Crowing
9 Years
Apr 11, 2011
9,281
808
361
Tn
Personally, I would just leave them where they are. I've had as many as 9 hens all brooding in the same coop, some even sharing the same nest. I just marked the eggs with a Sharpie (a black line all the way around so they'd be easy to identify) and wrote their hatch dates on the top so I could gather any unmarked eggs everyday that the other girls put in their nests. The only time I move broodies is if I run out of space, which has happened quite a few times, or if they pick an unsafe place to sit. And when I move them, I try to still keep them with the flock as much as possible. They go from the coop, to a double sided hutch in their run. I just recently had to move my turkey hen into the coop. She'd been sitting in a corner of the run and getting carried back to the coop every night (no eggs). I was hoping that would break her, but she's been persistent. So, I gathered her some eggs and put them in the corner of the coop. When we moved her in for the night I sat her on them. She did move from the corner to near the door, but she's been staying inside, so I'll take it!

Good luck!
 

Jrose

Songster
6 Years
Jun 6, 2013
493
115
156
Yeah, problem is egg breaking and stealing. The two broodies initially tried to bully eachother out of the nest and broke a few. I moved half a dozen to the neighboring nesting box and put the chook in there, she took to it just fine. I had to move my other turkey out because she would raid the other nest boxes every day and try to roll extra eggs up into the nest box, which is 20" off the ground. Ended up in a lot of broken eggs. Then there's broodies crushing eggs because the other chooks will lay eggs on their backs- sometimes two at a time! I have 14 nest boxes for 15 hens (used to be 25 hens, that's why there are so many) and they only use 3. Then, once the eggs hatch, I'll have an issue of chicks not being able to get back in the nest with mama!
 

Jrose

Songster
6 Years
Jun 6, 2013
493
115
156
Aahh! Okay, both broody turkey and chook got up for breakfast and a 3rd chook saw the nest and instantly turned broody! So that's 3 new broodies in the last 3 days and 1 turykey broody almost to hatch.

These girls are in the front corner of the coop in the 3 favorite nest boxes. I divided eggs between them just now to get an egg count. 34 eggs between the girls, and lots of broken ones :( They've been squabbling and laying on each other. There's a window here that I can open up up to the broody pen on the other side of the coop. If I fenced off this corner of the coop (walk-in coop, 100sq ft) with the 3 broodies and let them jump out the window for food, water, and a poo in the broody pen, does that seem reasonable? Will the presence of my other turkey's chicks (due in 9 days) disrupt their setting?
 

Jrose

Songster
6 Years
Jun 6, 2013
493
115
156
I am wondering if I can move all 3 to a pen together, but leave them in their separate nests? Luckily my nest boxes are an old desk, so the drawers can be pulled out and moved; broody, eggs, and all. I just don't know where to put them!
 

Jrose

Songster
6 Years
Jun 6, 2013
493
115
156
I just now realized this was under chicken behavior, not hatching eggs. I'm not sure how that happened!


I moved the three hens to the broody pen. So far so good. The turkey was last, I didn't think it would work, but I used the old box she brooded in last time and she settled right in. Then I remembered I didn't want to use a box because last time chicks fell out of it and almost froze on day 1, so after she accepted the location i moved the nest into a 20gal tote with a 'roof'. The two hens are in 5 gal buckets.

I realize it's not ideal, but I HAD to get them out of the coop! More eggs got broken today, and there was literally a line of hens screaming to get in those nesting boxes!

I've read many threads so far that says letting broodies hatch together usually results in dead chicks. So I'm not wondering how and where to house 4 different broodies....
 

Sonya9

Crowing
7 Years
Feb 7, 2014
1,930
1,177
291
Georgia
I am wondering if I can move all 3 to a pen together, but leave them in their separate nests? Luckily my nest boxes are an old desk, so the drawers can be pulled out and moved; broody, eggs, and all. I just don't know where to put them!

Not a good idea. When the first batch hatches the others will hear the chicks peeping and often want to leave their eggs to care for the new babies. That leads to fighting and abandoned eggs.
 

Jrose

Songster
6 Years
Jun 6, 2013
493
115
156
Not a good idea. When the first batch hatches the others will hear the chicks peeping and often want to leave their eggs to care for the new babies. That leads to fighting and abandoned eggs.
That's what I was afraid of :( Thanks for the input!
 

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