Separate broody hen from flock?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by chickgarden, May 27, 2017.

  1. chickgarden

    chickgarden Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi! I have a Silkie sitting on 9 fertile eggs. She is due to hatch them in about 4 days if my timing is correct. Currently she is in a nesting box in a small coop that she normally shares with just one other Silkie. (It's probably 3x4 feet, but they literally cram in the same nesting box every night and then spend the rest of the day out in their covered run. Right now I've got 6 ten week old Silkie chicks with them. They are all getting along great - one is a rooster which I'm looking for a home for, and the others we are waiting to see if there are any other roosters before I rehome a few more.

    My question is, Should I separate my broody and her eggs from the others until her eggs hatch? Should I block off an area to keep the others out? Should I just leave them all alone? We've only ever hatched eggs in an incubator so this is new to us.
     
  2. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

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    I think its safe to say that some members separate momma and chicks, others don't. Personally, I'd leave things as they are. The 10 week olds should not pose a threat to the chicks, as momma is dominant over them. There's only the other silkie hen to keep an eye on. It's just a case of observing their interactions and ensuring that the chicks are safe.

    In my experience, adults only tend to begin teaching chicks how their society works when they are around 6 weeks old -before that time they are largely ignored by the flock.
     
  3. Chicken Chat

    Chicken Chat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It doesn't sound like the rest of your flock will pose a problem for your mama all being together. The only thing I would worry a bit about is the other hen trying to squeeze into the same nest as your mama. I'm kind of surprised you haven't had a broken egg. Even after the chicks hatch, I would worry that a chick could get squished or stepped on with everyone trying to pile into the same nest. Do you have enough room to put a temporary nest box next to the other one for your other silkie hen to get in, even a small cardboard box?
     
  4. chickgarden

    chickgarden Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for your replies! There is another nest box and plenty of room for the other hen and chicks. The broody is pretty protective of her eggs when I peek in, but not with the other hen. I wonder if the other hen will try and help with the chicks when they hatch?
    I thought of another question. Will the chicks be able to get out of the nest box? There isn't really a low edge for them to climb out of. Does the mother help them? or will I need to? I'm also planning to put a feeder and waterer in the coop with them after they hatch.
     
  5. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

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    The 2nt. hen will not help with the first hen's chicks unless she is herself broody or in a setting frame of mind. But the second hen may very well trample, smash, and crush the pipping eggs by getting on and off the nest.
     

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