questions about broodies

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Mrs. Mucket, Jul 9, 2011.

  1. Mrs. Mucket

    Mrs. Mucket Songster

    May 3, 2010
    Pacific Northwest
    One of my broodies hatched three chicks and then it looks like she pushed the remaining eggs out of the nest. Is that a typical thing to do? It looks like she's being a good mama to her three chicks.

    Also, how do you manage multiple mamas and chicks? I have three broodies in an 8x20' pen. Each has her own nest--one in a 3x4' wire crate of her own, and two others in a 3x4' wire crate with a divider in it. When should I open the crates for them to take their chicks out into the pen? How do the hens typically act toward each other when they mix?

  2. Judy

    Judy Crowing Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Yes, when they decide it's time to take the chicks out of the nest and start them feeding, etc., she will abandon any unhatched ones to do so.

    If they weren't hatched in with the flock, my 2 or 3 day old chicks have always managed to dart or sneak out of their pen to be with other chickens, so I've let the mama out to be with her chicks, and she's protected them. I've never had a problem with other hens or even other mamas attaching chicks, other than normal pecking order stuff, nothing that drew blood. I've only watched 5 or 6 hatches grow up, though, and I've read of others having problems like this. Really, you won't know til you try. If you let them be with others when they are quite young, they should be ready to manage the pecking order at 4 or 5 weeks when the mamas usually stop mothering, or that has been my experience. I've always kept all the ages together.

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