TO BROOD OR NOT TO BROOD- THAT IS MY URGENT QUESTION!

Fawn and Fam

Songster
6 Years
Apr 2, 2013
268
11
106
We only had two 25 month old pet EE hens raised from a few days old that were best of friends. 2 1/2 weeks ago one was stolen, there was evidence it was most likely by kids from the high school that butts up to our property, and looks like it happened in the middle if the night. We were devastated and Eva her sister was so stressed out from the incident. They locked her inside the coop and she was there for 1/2 a day before we came out and found her. We knew she wouldn't do well alone so the next day we went and bought 3 EE pullets now 3 1/2 weeks old being raised in a brooder in our home. One we have to rehome, that is a different story in itself. Since I wanted a total of 4 chickens I decided to purchase one to replace the bad one. They only had chicks that were 2 days old so I purchased one and had to go back for another one (chicken math) because the 1st baby would cry incessantly when the big girls would perch up on the sides. Now they are 4 days old and so far so good w/ the 3 1/2 week old girls. My plan is to in 3 1/2 weeks (so they'll be 7 & 4 weeks old) to put them out w/ Eva though being divided w/ chicken wire for 2 weeks 1st. Eva has just gone full blown broody for the 1st time in her life. Should I leave Eva broody so when I introduce them she will take to them better or will being broody make her more likely reject them or have a harder time accepting them? I would greatly appreciate any thoughts or advice on my situation!
 

SnowPeeOstrichU

Songster
7 Years
Hi there!

Sorry your chicken got stolen..

My first question is this: Are you going to let her sit on eggs? If not, I recommend a "broody breaker" to stop the instinct/hormones/etc. A broody breaker is simply a small cage for her that has a perch, food, and water but to sit down is cold and so she has to perch. With 3-4 days in it, she should stop being broody. Personally, I would put her in a broody breaker and when she finished there, put the new ones out with her.

I'm not sure how being broody would affect her meeting the new ones.. If she's just sitting in a nest box, I guess it depends partially on how many nest boxes you have..

Futhermore, a good time to introduce the new ones is at night so she doesn't see the difference as much and just wakes up to new friends! :)
 

azygous

Enabler
11 Years
Dec 11, 2009
22,883
32,393
1,102
Colorado Rockies
Being broody doesn't automatically awaken a "parenting urge". Far be it in actuality. Broodies have the crabbiest temperament imaginable and are more likely to kill a chick than befriend it with maternal ardor.

Best to keep the chicks separated from her, supply a heat source for those who need it, and leave the chicks to keep each other company until they can join your hen. By the way, chicks under four weeks old merge well with each other with little fuss when you put them together.
 

Fawn and Fam

Songster
6 Years
Apr 2, 2013
268
11
106
She quit laying 4 days ago so she is sitting on imaginary eggs and pecking at us to protect them. Can I just block off the nesting boxes, since she is the only chicken out there, instead of having to go through the crate hassle (btw I would have to get one)? Will that break her by forcing her to roost?
 

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