Question from a newbie......

joey7319

In the Brooder
10 Years
May 29, 2009
62
0
39
Stanardsville, Va
Hi all, my name is Nikki. I've been lurking on your site since we got out chickens about two months ago. We started out with 6 hens and a roo and have since added 2 more roos and 5 more hens. Everyone is settled in nicely and coexisting as peacefully as 3 roosters can. Anyway, we gave one of our hens 8 eggs just to see if she would sit on them. She went broody right away and has kept six eggs. We have not seperated her from the flock, just left her box in the corner out of the way of the others. The eggs are due to hatch sometime next week and we want to let her raise her chicks. My question is, when the chicks hatch will the other chickens continue to leave them alone or will they pick at them. I would really prefere to leave them all together so I don't have to re-introduce them later if that is possible. I've also just put out 9 more eggs for someone to sit on, no one ever told me chickens were addictive!!!! Thanks for any input, I look forward to hearing what the experts have to say
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miss_thenorth

Songster
12 Years
Dec 28, 2007
2,071
25
201
SW Ont, Canada
Momma will protect her babies from the rest of the flock. Eventually the flock will come to accept them, and by the time mom leaves them to their own devices, (at around 7-8 weeks), they should all be fine--at least that is my experience.
 

Eggie and Me

Songster
10 Years
Mar 9, 2009
240
1
119
Southern California
Quote:Isn't their a disclaimer on BYC's Homepage??
Know what you mean this has been a wonderful experience, so far...

Our neighbors NEVER do anything special for their chickens. Babies or adults. Their babies wonder all over the place including getting lost in my yard. Gads what noise when that happens. :gigThe Moms seem to be very protective and the others in the flock just seem to know to ignore the babies? Best of luck!!
 

joey7319

In the Brooder
10 Years
May 29, 2009
62
0
39
Stanardsville, Va
Thanks for the speedy responses. And I can now say we have another broody sitting on 9 more eggs. I can't wait for babies!!!!!!!!
 

joey7319

In the Brooder
10 Years
May 29, 2009
62
0
39
Stanardsville, Va
K-so I may have jumped the gun on our new clutch of eggs. I ended up putting 11 in the nesting box. One of our hens went to sit on them immediately, and another one seemed to get extremely upset by this. She complained all day, and actually got up into the box and tried to kick broody out. But broody stood her ground and stayed put. We went to my mothers for dinner last night, and when I got home no one was on the eggs. This morning original broody was back on the eggs and other was upset again. So, I go to work, come home and all of the eggs have been kicked out of the box. 5 were broken or cracked so I let the others have them. 6 were okay as they landed in the straw and had some padding. I'm assuming upset hen might have gone into the box and kicked them out. That is the only explanation I can think of. Any ideas why she wouldn't just sit on them? I was really looking forward to this clutch b/c it had eggs from my favorite roo and hen in it (our Partidge Chantechler-not sure if I spelled that right, Canadian chicken-and a really pretty smooth white and light brown mutt hen) their eggs were some of the ones that survived but now I'm afraid to put them back out if the girls are fighting over who gets to sit on them. Any ideas? Should I divide the eggs and let them both sit or just let this batch go?? Thanks in advance for any advice you have to offer.

Oh, and we checked our other broody's eggs last night and we're definately gonna get some babys from her. And the other hens have never hassled her like they were broody #2.
 

shaggy

Songster
10 Years
May 11, 2009
594
14
141
Orange, Texas
take 2 cardboard boxes that can interlock

make a nest in it with some straw

put the eggs in it with the hen you want to hatch the eggs --- poke some holes in the cardboard for air

leave the hen and the eggs like that overnight (they'll be fine)

in the morning take the top box off so that the hen can come and go as she pleases ---- that should solve the problem of the other jealous hen

this is a good read --- should help out a bit

http://www.themodernhomestead.us/article/Broody-Hens-1.html#pagetop
 

joey7319

In the Brooder
10 Years
May 29, 2009
62
0
39
Stanardsville, Va
I would love to try your cardboard box trick, but have a concern. As I mentioned before our broody is still with the rest of the flock. One of our roos likes to go and sit on top of the nest boxes (he even tried to sit on those eggs himself until broody #2 chased him away) and I'm afraid he would sit on top of the cardboard boxes and collapse them. We use old milk crates as that is what the hens were used to in their run where we got them. I have an old plastic storage container with a big hole cut into ithe top (I used it as a litterbox for my kitties), if I got another one and modified it the same way do you think this would be suitable? Or would I just be wasting my time as jealous hen would still have access? Currently the nesting boxes are on a shelf, if I put one on the floor of the coop it would solve the problem of the hen kicking them out and breaking them. But would not solve the issue of the girls fighting over who gets to sit on them. Please advise.
 

shaggy

Songster
10 Years
May 11, 2009
594
14
141
Orange, Texas
you only need to make sure the hens sits on them overnight so she is sure that they are hers

also keeps the other hen away so she is sure that they are not hers

you might try that idea --- but maybe section it off a little so nothing can get in and collapse the box

the main thing is getting the hen to sit on the eggs and keep everything else away from her and her eggs





once that is done --- you can take whatever out of the way so it is no longer sectioned off
 
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joey7319

In the Brooder
10 Years
May 29, 2009
62
0
39
Stanardsville, Va
So, I went out this morning to check on everyone and someone is sitting on the new eggs!!!! I guess I just need to stop worrying and let my girls do their thing. I wasn't expecting anyone to be on the eggs, but now it seems we've got three hens trying to sit on eggs. Broody #2 on her six and Broody #1 and an "unauthorized broody" is sitting with her in her box. How she got in there with her.....I have no idea. Broody #1 is a fierce protector of her eggs. Thanks for your help everyone. Now I just have to wait for some babies. Our first batch is due soon, sometime this coming week. Waiting is driving me NUTS!!!!! If I can figure out how to get our camera to work with our computer (we got a new computer about two month ago and I still haven't figured it out) I will post some pics of our new babies when they come and our other chickies. Thanks again!!!!!

Nikki
 

shaggy

Songster
10 Years
May 11, 2009
594
14
141
Orange, Texas
you definitely have to have your "hatching nests" seperate from your "laying nests"

this should cut down on some of the confusion and keep your layers from trying to lay eggs where the broodies are hatching theirs

i like the milk crate idea --- can make some nests in there for hatching and just cover them with some plywood to keep your layers from laying eggs in there when they are not in use
 

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