Should I separate a cockerel from hatching eggs

Discussion in 'Pictures & Stories of My Chickens' started by S1ilkieGirl99, Feb 28, 2015.

  1. S1ilkieGirl99

    S1ilkieGirl99 Out Of The Brooder

    87
    2
    41
    Apr 18, 2014
    Hi there, I have three serama hens and one cockerel. Recently one of my hens has gone broody, so I allowed her to sit on four eggs which have proceeded to develop and are due in about 4 days. I don't know whether to separate the hen and her eggs from the three other chickens, or whether this would stress her out or stop her from brooding the eggs. Then again I am concerned that the cockerel or other hens would attack the chicks once they have hatched. What do you suggest? Thank you very much
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

    20,268
    3,558
    496
    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    Hens have been hatching eggs and raising babies with the flock for thousands of years. Some people isolate them, some don’t. There is no right way or wrong way, just the way we choose to do this. There are risks and benefits both ways.

    You are dealing with living animals. Those don’t come with guarantees. No one, including me, can tell you what will happen. We can tell you what has happened. If enough of us do that, you will get some really conflicting stories.

    The biggest risk of trying to move her is that she might stop being broody. The best time to do that is before you give her eggs to hatch, not after she has eggs. Many people do successfully move them, even at this stage, but some people have failures when they try that.

    I let mine hatch with the flock and raise them with the flock. I have never seen a dominant rooster even come close to threatening a chick. I have seen a dominant rooster help a broody take care of her chicks. Practically all roosters that see baby chicks with the flock assume that they are their offspring. They may or may not help the hen with them, but they don’t attack them.

    After a little initial curiosity the other members of the flock generally don’t pay that much attention to the chicks. If Mama thinks another flock member is threatening her babies, she quickly whips butt. On occasion another older flock member will threaten a chick, but most of the time I’ve seen a broody attack another chicken was because that chicken got close to her baby, not that they were actually threatening it. If Mama is not there to protect a chick, it is possible another flock member will kill lit, but I’ve never lost a chick to another flock member as long as a broody was around to protect her chick. I did lose one when a chick got into a grow-out pen with a bunch of 8 week olds and Mama could not get into that pen to protect her baby.

    I wish you luck!
     
  3. S1ilkieGirl99

    S1ilkieGirl99 Out Of The Brooder

    87
    2
    41
    Apr 18, 2014
    Thank you very much for your help, I really appreciate it!! It makes sense that the cockerel wouldn't hurt the young, and that mamma will protect her babies. Thank you!!


     
  4. Just sayin

    Just sayin Chillin' With My Peeps

    184
    34
    88
    Sep 9, 2014
    When our momma had little chicks, the other hens and the rooster, learned to give her a WIDE berth. :)
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by