Timid Broody Hen suggestions needed

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by SimplyLogan, Jan 11, 2015.

  1. SimplyLogan

    SimplyLogan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My smallest, most picked on (by both groups) went broody and is sitting on 8 eggs. They don't pick her featherless but they always chase her off or fuss at her. She is a blue Wyandotte under one year of age. I was very surprised when she went broody, but I am sure she is, not doubt in my mind. I wanted to leave her in the coop to raise them (Lord willing, I get some little fuzzy butts). However, I am afraid that since she runs from all the others she may not protect the babies once they hatch. I know the rooster sometimes helps protect the babies, but I also know that is no guarantee. I would like to get some advice as to if I should separate her (I have a brooder) or leave her and see what transpires. I have always purchased new little ones, so this is my first time letting a hen hatch her own.

    [​IMG]

    This pic was before they stated laying eggs and crowing. "HE" was supposed to be a "SHE" and I knew something was not quite right. [​IMG] OT, he does not like females! He has no problem with my husband and son. Wait till my back, or the lady that sits for me, have our backs turned and he is attacking us. Ugh! I haven't decided his fate. P.S. I named him gumbo!
     
  2. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Overrun With Chickens

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    I would separate her. If she's already being picked on, then she'll likely have a hard time defending and taking care of her chicks. Sometimes, when a timid, low on the pecking order hen goes broody and hatches chicks, they get real assertive and climb the pecking order ladder. But not always. So, really that's a decision you'll need to make while observing hows she's interacting with the rest of your flock. If you do separate, you might consider making her a pen in the coop or run, so she's still part of the group, but not accessible to the other birds.

    For what its worth, I wouldn't tolerate your roosters behavior one bit. If he lived on my farm, his home would be in my freezer, not my breeding pen. I also very much believe that temperament is an inherited trait, so you may end up with babies that have bad attitudes as well. There are gobs of lovely roosters who need homes, why hold onto to one with a bad attitude is all I'm saying...

    Good luck with your broody :fl you get some cute fluffies to add to your coop:)
     
  3. SimplyLogan

    SimplyLogan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks...
    I was thinking about making her , her own space in the coop (but separated ) so the integration transition my go smoother. I am afraid if she don't step up I will have a lot of little dead fluffy butts.

    As for the rooster, I have already decided any cocks will be freezer bound. You do have a good point with the genetics passing on that mean rooster trait. I just really wanted to give her a chance to see what she can do. I did not have a rooster when my other hens went broody. I do spoil my chickens but I hardly ever name them. My husband laughed when I told him I had a name for that rooster, Gumbo. He was ready to get out the big pot.
     
  4. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    I'm a big advocate of a broody raising chicks in the flock overall, but I do have one Omega hen I have to separate at first. I found it's just easier to pull her to a different place to brood, cause the other birds would chase her off the nest. I'd leave her there to hatch and for not quite a week afterward, then put her back in the main coop. That one-week mark seemed to be a good time to re-introduce, the chicks are old enough to be very mobile and are strong, and momma is still cranky from brooding and hormonal enough no one wants to mess with her. I like to get them all back together as soon as possible to establish a cohesive flock. She'll always be the Omega, you can't change that, but she should take good care of her babies. Be sure you have lots of space and hiding places for the littles and everyone should be fine.
     
  5. stacemck

    stacemck Out Of The Brooder

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    For my broody's and chicks I built a separate area which is attached to the pen with dog fencing that you get from petshops and such, prob not the cheapest option but it is easy to take it down and put it back up. The broody can still see her flock and the flock and see her and her babies. Generally I would let my girls raise the chicks I was unlucky this recent time as she abandoned the eggs, you girl will be more likely to abandon if she is being harassed.
     
  6. SimplyLogan

    SimplyLogan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I need further advice. Please. Right after I first wrote this post I got so very bad virus/flu/upper respiratory crud. I have not been able to separate my hen. I have been watching to make sure she eats. She has actually became quite friendly even coming to me when I bring food. I am still quite ill and realized that this week is hatch week. I have room to enclose a small area in the coop for her. My next box is about 2 feet off the ground. Do they usually move out of the next box after the chicks hatch? Do I need to make another next box that sits on the ground for her to move to after the hatch (in an enclosed area)? Do I need to give her access to the outside separate from the others that she can take her chicks with her? Sorry for the short notice but I have to fix this quick without keeling over in the process.
     
  7. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Make so she has a nest box very similar to the one in use and directly below it, ideally laying on its side. Provide a location chicks can get into for feed and water that adults can't reach. Think creep feeder.
     
  8. SimplyLogan

    SimplyLogan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks so much again for suggestions. Feeling a little better. My son came home from college and helped me get her ready. It appears I have three good eggs. So waiting. I had thought Wednesday was hatch day. After recounting it appears its Friday. So Keeping my fingers crossed. Got my brooder ready incase she decides she Is finished after they hatch. Not sure what to expect from her. If she gets up and her box is blocked or occupied, she if fine sitting on other eggs in a different box [​IMG].
     
  9. SimplyLogan

    SimplyLogan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG]

    Two of the three hatched so far
     
  10. SimplyLogan

    SimplyLogan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I had to work this weekend away from home (of course it would be hatch weekend) so I really didn't get to take a good look at them till today. Two had hatched on day one, before I left, had my son peeking in on them while I was gone. Well, today I went and took a good look. I wanted to see them so I moved her to get a look and one came out. So, I popped it up by the food. I really wanted to see them eat. Another one came out, so popped it by the food as well. Let me say, momma was not mean to me but she did not like those babies away from her. She got out of the box and corralled them in the corner of the larger area (added a closed in area attached to her box to separate her from the others) and shoved them right back under her. I guess as long as they seem to be active and healthy, momma is taking care of them. The food and water level is lower, so hope its just not momma eating. But, It appears so far so good.. and I appear to be the only one worrying. lol
     

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