Setting hen questions

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by freestargirl, Sep 26, 2012.

  1. freestargirl

    freestargirl In the Brooder

    Jul 19, 2011
    NC Foothills
    Couple of questions.

    We currently have a pretty big coop with plenty of nestboxes that is currently home to

    5 Golden Comet hens
    2 younger Buff Brahma roosters.

    We also have 8, 5 wk old chicks from a hatchery, breeds picked just for broodiness
    and 8 'homemade' 3 wk old chicks that we hatched from our hens & old rooster in an incubator.

    We are in the process of converting an old small gardening shed to a coop for the 16 babies until they are big enough to go in with the 'adult' birds.

    My husband suggested using the smaller coop for our 'broody flock', so that any mama's could raise the babies away from the others, but then I pointed out all 8 of the broody hens would need to be in there, plus 1 rooster, so it wasn't really away from the others, just away from the laying hens. Then he suggested we wait til a hen went broody in the big coop, and then move her and the eggs to the small coop, til the babies are big enough. I think that would be too disruptive and stressful on mama-hen. Am I right?

    He also suggested that we use the smaller coop for the extra roosters we might end up with from our 'homemade' chickens, a broiler coop of sorts. In the 'big coop' we would close one the box(es) off when mama goes broody, and then have it open up into smaller fenced in area, inside the existing fence.

    I am fine with his 2nd idea, except I don't think we need to go thru the trouble of seperating the extra roosters. We're going to eat them anyway as soon as they are fully grown. That leaves the smaller coup open in case we have one that needs to be kept away from the other for illness or injury. Really, I am the one who does the 'chicken chores' 90% of the time, and I don't want to have to visit 2 coops on complete opposite sides of our property if I don't have to.

    Should we try to maintain a seperate 'laying flock' & 'setting flock'? Or a 'keep flock' and an 'eat flock', LOL? Or keep them all together, seperate area for mama's and babies and extra coop as backup?
  2. Den in Penn

    Den in Penn Songster

    Dec 15, 2011
    SE Pa.
    I like the idea of making an area in the coop for the broody. You may not even have to fence it off from the rest of the coop mother hens usually do fine raising them with the flock. Just make sure the other hens don't keep adding to the clutch. A point to consider with the extra roosters is that by separating them you can feed them a higher protein feed for better development.

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