To move her? or not to move her?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Gingerhen, Feb 5, 2014.

  1. Gingerhen

    Gingerhen Out Of The Brooder

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    Hi,
    I could really do with some advise please...

    We keep pekin bantams in various colours ect. We also have a cockerel who keeps our ladies in check and is for my daughter to show. ( He was going to get the chop as they had to many cockerels so he came home with the ladies, we are keeping them as pets a bonus if we get a few tiny eggs the more my daughter has got into them the more she would like to show them at the little local shows.

    Grace has gone broody, at first no egg, then 1 of her own. one of the others laid an egg in the joining nest box so totally confused she couldn't decide which one to sit on, once I found her in the evening I put the new egg under her so now she is sitting on 2. We are now on days 6 for 1st egg, day 4 for the 2nd.

    I am in a bit of a dilemma, do I move her to her own house now so she can be a mum on her own in the quiet, or do I let her hatch them ( hoping they do) in the main house with access to all the other hens and Ceril the cockerel? At the moment I lift her out twice a day and she does what she has to do, has a drink, some corn a scratch about has some greens or treats hidden around their run does her toilets and then goes back to her eggs where she will stay until I lift her off again in the evening. She only ever spends about 30 min's away from her eggs.

    Ceril the cockerel likes to keep his ladies in order but when I recently tried to reintroduce a hen which I had removed as she had crook neck he battered the poor little girl I had to split them up and she came back to live in the house whilst my poor dad could design and build her own house and run which she shares with anther 2 ladies.
    99% of the time is he very docile but he is a cockerel and runs an orderly bunch of ladies!

    My worries:

    If I leave her to it once the chicks are born there is a 3 foot drop from the nest box to the bottom of the house. There is a thick layer of wood shavings but once down they would never be able to hop up the perch's to get back to he nest. Would they get cold and perish or would the young hen know to keep them warm and stay with them and make a nest in the shavings. Would they get bullied by the other hens or would the cockerel try and kill them?

    I have a hutch which I can lift her nest out and put her in and separate her either completely from the others or still keep her within their outside run just In her own house? She could still go out and socialise and go about her business when she needs to.

    I could completely separate her and put her in another part of the garden in the hutch.

    I could keep her in the hutch within the run so she can see the others and they can see her - would that stress her out and make her leave the nest?

    If I do completely separate her will Ceril allow her back when she has reared her young (providing they hatch and survive)

    Any feed back or advise would be gratefully received.

    Thank you x
     
  2. maxpedley

    maxpedley Chillin' With My Peeps

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    the chicks would proably move to adifferent place to where they hatched so the leaving the nest thing wouldnt be aqn issue. cock birds are fantastic fathers in chickens and will look aftyer his chicks to the death. he will feed them and watch them at all times. in some cases if hens have died while looking after chicks the rooster has taken custody and acted like a mother. You may however have to keep an eye on the other hens so they dont attack them
     
  3. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    I would move her and her nest to the hutch. Do it at night. As to where you put the hutch... the ideal might be within the run, but so that an area could be fenced off for her little brood if necessary. You might want to close up the hutch as it gets close to hatch day so the chicklets won't fall out of the hutch to the ground. When they are moving well, you can let broody and babies out. I assume the hutch is up on legs???
     
  4. Ducky Lover

    Ducky Lover Out Of The Brooder

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    Last edited: Feb 5, 2014
  5. Gingerhen

    Gingerhen Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 4, 2014
    The hutch that I could use only has small 3" legs ( We bought is with the idea of moving her so she can be on her own) The more I thought about it the more I was concerned that my meddling would actually make more of a problem.

    Thank you Lazy gardener & Maxpedley for your advice.

    From your advise I think I might put her in her own house within the run until babies are old enough, fence off a small run so they can come and go but they are within view of the rest of the hens and ceril the cock bird and then once they can fend for themselves I can supervise the introduction of them all back together.

    Does this sound like a good plan? - We were never going to breed with our birds they were just pets but Grace clearly has other ideas!
     
  6. Gingerhen

    Gingerhen Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you Ducky lover,

    We tried dipping her in water, taking away her nesting material, but she remained broody for 10 days until she laid an egg. We have 5 other ladies, Ceril the cockerel and 2 call ducks I rescued from a market at the weekend (they were going to the big pond in the sky) They are all Pekin bantams so very calm and we have handled them since they were a few days old as they were from a friend who breeds rare breed poultry.

    There are 3 nest boxes in total 1 of which Grace is occupying! None of the other ladies seam to be taking any notice of her at all, When I lift her out she remains in the "broody position" until I shake the corn feeder she has a snack some water a quick scratch about and does her toilets and then straight back to her eggs! ( one of which isn't even hers!)
    She is one of the dominant hens until now she is all day dreamy, does her thing and then back to her nest. Ceril hasn't taken any notice that she isn't around as much, he is pre occupied with the other ladies in his harem!

    she has been so intent on staying broody when she laid her egg and seamed so proud of herself I didn't have the heart to try and snap her out of her broody behaviour!
     
  7. Ducky Lover

    Ducky Lover Out Of The Brooder

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    Last edited: Feb 5, 2014
  8. Gingerhen

    Gingerhen Out Of The Brooder

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    I have been making sure se as eaten and had fluids twice a day, she might pop out during the day when I am at work, she seams happy and strong, I have been adding some tonic and spice to their food and water so she has been getting a little pick me up when she has been feeding.

    We went to the market with all intent and purposes on getting her a few eggs to pop under her but as its very early here in England for bantams to really start laying we didn't have much luck with suitable eggs. Goose eggs were available but the eggs were nearly half the size of her! Hence why I ended up coming home with a couple of ducks who were destined for the pond in the sky as they were surplus to requirements.

    NOTE TO SELF - do not attend poultry sales with any money on ones person!
     
  9. Ducky Lover

    Ducky Lover Out Of The Brooder

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    Last edited: Feb 5, 2014
  10. Gingerhen

    Gingerhen Out Of The Brooder

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    We got away lightly - my other half felt sorry for a massive pig! He wanted to bring him home!
     

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