Serrigate Mothers

Lesa Mae

In the Brooder
5 Years
Apr 13, 2014
84
1
33
Ontario, Canada
I have 3 silkie hens and I believe that one has gone broody and has 7 eggs but the other 2 are broody and sharing the eggs amongst all the hens are they ok to leave together to raise any chicks or will this cause fighting the roo is also in the same coop but he doesn't appear to be bothering them he stands guard. First time I've had the girls go broody and not sure what to do ??? Any suggestions
 
Last edited:

chooks4life

Crowing
6 Years
Apr 8, 2013
4,905
655
296
Australia
I have 3 silkie hens and I believe that one has gone broody and has 7 eggs but the other 2 are broody and sharing the eggs amongst all the hens are they ok to leave together to raise any chicks or will this cause fighting the roo is also in the same coop but he doesn't appear to be bothering them he stands guard. First time I've had the girls go broody and not sure what to do ??? Any suggestions
When you say 'sharing', do you mean they are able to roll eggs from one nest to another? A communal nest is not a good idea mostly because rolling the eggs too many times kills them, and even when eggs hatched right beside a hen, this does not guarantee she will accept the other chicks. Mothers who can co-mother are the exception to the rule, and chances are you'll have some trouble about it. Just because the hens get along now doesn't mean they will once the eggs hatch and they're all off the nest; chances are they will then battle to reinforce their hierarchy and chicks are often damaged in such battles. Also, when chicks hatch under a hen beside another hen, and a hen isn't sure which belong to her, she can begin attacking them all. Most likely, and the more common scenario, is that if they all hatch under all the hens, one of the hens ends up looking after them all, sooner or later.

I would check them with a torch, and if the hens did not go broody on the same day or close to it, and if there are some eggs more developed than others, I'd separate the eggs according to development, and give the hen that's been sitting longest the most developed ones, and the hen that's been sitting the shortest time, the least developed ones.

I'd put up partitions between the hens so they can't egg swap, too. This probably means they will get into the wrong nests too and you'll have a bother of a time sorting them out, but better this is all sorted out before chicks hatch than afterwards.

The hen with the most developed eggs will probably need shifting outside of close earshot from the others, because they will bond to the bubs' voices as they hatch, and may abandon their own nests for them. If you don't separate the eggs, if they are developed to different levels, you will end up with a few chicks hatched and the hens abandoning the nests to take care of a few, while the rest of the whole clutch is left to die just a few days short of hatching.

But there's no guarantees of anything, for all I know these hens of yours may do well together after the bubs hatch, it's not likely but not unheard of... So best wishes with them, whatever you do.
 
Last edited:

Lesa Mae

In the Brooder
5 Years
Apr 13, 2014
84
1
33
Ontario, Canada
Thanks for sharing your thoughts , looks like I have some sorting to do LOL !!! I guess we will have to see how this all turns out and hope I works out they are due to hatch in 2 days time. Thanks again for the help :)
 

chooks4life

Crowing
6 Years
Apr 8, 2013
4,905
655
296
Australia
Wow, if they're due to hatch so soon sorting can be very difficult now. Best wishes with that! Here's hoping your girls are the exception and co-mother great, I guess!
 
Top Bottom