Separate Broody or Not?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by paxfarms, Jul 23, 2019.

  1. paxfarms

    paxfarms Chirping

    Aug 7, 2018
    I currently have two broody hens that are setting on a total of 12 eggs between them. They are set to hatch this upcoming Saturday.

    The last time I had a broody, I moved her and her broody sister to a separate coop and, when I did, the broody sister immediately broke and refused to return to her eggs. For this reason, I have allowed the girls to brood inside the main coop to see how it goes this time.

    I gave them their eggs at the same time. Their eggs are marked and I remove any new eggs that have been laid in the nest boxes twice a day. Candling on Days 7 and 14 showed that every egg is developing and they all appear to be doing well.

    With hatch day quickly approaching, I'm trying to get a plan on what to do with the girls once the chicks hatch.

    My main concern with leaving them in the main coop is that the coop is raised about 4 feet off the ground. If the chicks fall from there, they will be, at best, severely injured, but it would likely kill them.

    My main concern with moving them is that I will have to integrate the chicks back into the main flock once they are old enough, which means waiting until they are the same size as the other chickens and I really don't want to have to keep them in a separate coop that long.

    Is there a way to leave the chicks in the main coop safely, without worrying about them falling? Or is it completely necessary that I move them once they hatch?
  2. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Free Ranging

    Falling rarely injures the littles. Chilling to death would be the biggest concern after flock interest. My biggest issue with my raised coops is babes figuring out how to follow mum up the ramp at roost time. So I often have to help out for the first few days after she starts bringing them out.

    Otherwise... I have only had success moving broody's once hatching has began and there are chicks under her. Even then they usually take the chicks back to their original chosen nest as soon as they can get the chicks to follow. I has one leave new chicks and go back to her nest without them. Just open the gate or whatever after they reach a week or whatever makes YOU comfortable. Waiting to long to allow the broody back to the flock is what causes integration issues for the chicks really. Allowed back soon enough they will quickly learn who to avoid as well as still have mum to help stave off extra interest. I personally do not separate my broody's. It runs risk if it's own, but it's a very personal choice. Trying different thing you might find you have a preference. I also don't like double broody's and won't allow them to hatch that close together as it creates lots of confusion and competition... in addition to the lack of eggs, nasty attitudes and such that comes along with broody hens.

    Happy hatching! :jumpy:jumpy
    Sherloki, Harmony Fowl and paxfarms like this.
  3. goldies99

    goldies99 Songster

    Jul 22, 2011
    i had a broody hen hatching in the main coop, also high up....i did let her hatch there....but soon as they were hatched, i moved them to another cage as i didnt want them to fall either...all went and chicks were in a cage that all the other hens could see and come and investigate...i also let the mom and chicks out with the rest for a few hours before night, none of the others bother them....:)
  4. Harmony Fowl

    Harmony Fowl Songster

    Jul 17, 2017
    If the hen is unwilling to allow herself to be moved in the beginning, moving once hatching starts has been the best tactic for me, too. From there I generally wait to see that the hen is no longer sitting on the nest all the time and is up and eager to take her babies out. From there I allow her into the flock and she chooses a nighttime nesting spot on the floor of the coop, though I do have boxes at that level available to her, too.
  5. chickens really

    chickens really Crazy Call Duck Momma

    Can you block off the Coop part for a few days till the Chicks are all hatched and up and running around? I move my Broody Hens always and put back into the flock with Momma at around 3 to 5 days old.
    Ohmyheart likes this.
  6. Ohmyheart

    Ohmyheart Songster

    Mar 27, 2017
    North Little Rock, AR
    I block off a small section of my coop. Mom doesn't tend to walk around just yet when the hatching starts. She usually spends a few days in that spot. I block off a spot so mom and chicks have food and water and to give the other hens a chance to learn babies are about to explode everywhere. My coop is also 4 feet off the ground and when mom takes them down that is the easy part. My silkies and cochins have been the best at teaching chicks to go back up. My newest mom is a black sexlink and with 25 chicks she can't keep track of them all. We just scoop them up and pass them back to mom.

    My biggest concern is having two broodies together. I had it work with a cochin and silkie but I have and OEGH who tried to go broody with them and they wanted nothing to do with her. They took turns going out to eat and dust bath while the other sat kept the eggs warm. They did a great job raising the chicks together. So watch them and see if they can coexist after hatching you may need to separate them.

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