Separate Broody hens or not?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by handihoes, Nov 28, 2016.

  1. handihoes

    handihoes Just Hatched

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    I have 2 silkies and a silkie X. Both the silkies have gone really Broody this week. They are only 6 months old and started laying just a month ago. I wouldn't mind giving them a few fertile eggs each to hatch, or some day olds but not sure if I should leave them together with the silkie X , or separate the silkie X but leave the two Broody's together. Or should everyone be separated? I'm worried if I leave the Broodys together, they might fight over the eggs or chicks?? And when the chicks hatch, will they only go to their own 'mother', or any hen? If I separate, will I have to integrate the hens into the coop again or just the new babies? And how long will the mother's stay with the babies. Might they leave before the babies are able to regulate their own temp at night, in which case, id have to provide heat? So many questions. But I don't want my hens or the chicks to be harmed.
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2016
  2. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

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    Having two broodies can be difficult, depending on the disposition of the hens. Some people have multiple broodies together and they seem to be fine, but other members have experienced one mother killing the chicks of another. The none-broody hen is not likely to be an issue.

    Re-integration is not such a laboured process, since you only (I assume) have 3 hens. Ideally, separating the broodies within the coop would be best.

    Mothers stay with their young for as long as they feel necessary (in my experience 6-8 weeks), but some mothers wean their chicks much earlier - others later.

    If you have not raised chicks before, with a broody I would be inclined not to hatch with more than one. I'm not sure that at such a young age I would put eggs under them, but its a personal preference. If you decide to break their broodiness, type "broody buster" in the search box for how to go about it.
     
  3. handihoes

    handihoes Just Hatched

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    May 16, 2016
    Thank you for the reply and advice. I have only hatched and hand raised chicks before and I figured that would be harder than using a Broody. I did try to break them shortly after they started but they were very insistent. Maybe i will try again to break them as they are still young. What age would be ok to let them try?
     
  4. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

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    It's totally a matter of opinion / experience. I would likely wait for another 2-3 months.
     
  5. beakerchicks

    beakerchicks Just Hatched

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    It depends on the personality of the chickens. I've had two hens that took turns on the nest. Another two i put together kept switching nests till the one stopped being broody then the other one took all the eggs from the other nest and moved it into hers. One of my hens hates to have other hens around when she's broody.
     

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