My mama (of 2 week old chicks) just hijacked my broody's nest!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by macmama, Jun 15, 2010.

  1. macmama

    macmama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 9, 2010
    Gilbert AZ
    My first broody hatched her chicks 2 weeks ago. She has 9 chicks and has been an amazing mother. I have another broody sitting on eggs (today is day 13 I think) and tonight I went to check on everybody before closing up the coop and found this scene:

    All the chicks were standing around looking confused. A few of them were in the Broody's nestbox (which is weird) and I saw her chase them out. Then I realize that the "broody" is actually Mama-- and the real broody was standing all fluffed up nearby sounding irritated. So my stinkin' mother hen ditched her babies, hijacked my broody's nest and eggs, and chased her own chicks away! [​IMG]

    Once I realized what was going on I took Mama out of the nest box, returned it to its rightful owner, and put Mama back with her chicks. For a second she seemed irritated and tried to get back to the nest, then she settled down with her babies and went back to HER nest.

    Has this happened to anybody else? I'm pretty sure now that Mama is going to be stealing Broody's chicks when they're hatched. I locked Broody in the dog kennel (I had previously left the door open so she could take her daily walk) but what do I do now? I can keep Broody locked up for a little while after the chicks hatch, but not very long. It's really hot here and they need to be able to move around my yard to get cool in the grass during the day. I really wouldn't care if Mama stole Broody's chicks... but I don't want any bloodshed over it, and the chicks will be 3 weeks younger than her first set.

    Geez. Some mamas just aren't happy with the 9 kids they already have! Advice?
     
  2. HorseFeatherz NV

    HorseFeatherz NV Eggink Chickens

    Silly hormonal girls [​IMG]


    I currently have 3 broodies with chicks and one on eggs. I do keep whomever is on eggs locked up - to keep other hens from adding to her clutch and to keep other broodies from moving in - I go out two or three times a day to check her food/water and see if she is ready for a walk/potty break. But once mom is ready to come off the nest with her chicks (generally when the chicks are 2/3 days old) then all go in to the same area (16 feet x 30 feet pen - inside the chicken run). Usually there is a bit of a squabble between moms, and then they all get a long for the most part.

    I do have a broody, Blondie, who does not care whose chicks come when she calls with food – she will and does feed them all. I also have a broody, Ruby, who does not tolerate any other chick except hers – now she does not even like her own chicks who are 7 weeks old, but she does not want to leave the broody pen – so she hops the fence to lay her egg a day and hops back into the pen to stay way from the bantam roo who is trying to woo her. (who said chickens were dumb? [​IMG] )
     

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