To separate or not to separate, that is the question.


In the Brooder
9 Years
Dec 30, 2010
Hello the forum. I an considering getting a rooster, and breeding him with my best hen so I can replenish chickens killed by my dog! I was watching a youtube video, and the man keep the rooster and the breeding hen separate from the rest of the flock. After the chicks were old enough, mama and chicks were returned to the flock. I was wondering , could I just put the hen in with the too for breeding, then immediately after, put her back in with the flock to lay her eggs. She's very broody. Would the other chickens bother her or her eggs? Would they bother the newly hatched chicks, or would they accept them as part of the flock since they had seen mama sitting on the eggs, and understood these are new members? Thanks for the replies in advance, best regards, JA
If your hen is broody, she is not laying eggs. Best to keep a broody hen with flock, but separate so the other hens won't add extra eggs to her clutch. How many birds do you have, and what is the square footage of your coop and run? Answers to these ?'s will help to give you an answer if you DO have a broody.

There are some articles in the learning center about incubation, raising chicks, working with broody hens and roosters that will help you with your plan. Good luck with building your flock. Any reason why you wouldn't want chicks from all of your hens??
You could skip the rooster and buy fertile hatching eggs for your broody hen. I'm pretty new to chickens but I believe it's probably best to separate her or your other hens may kill the chicks. If you could keep her in a wire kennel or separate part of the coop where the other chickens can see her and the babies but not get to them. That way she is still part of the flock but can raise some chicks without the other chickens bothering her.
I had 10 hens, until my dog killed one last night! There are a lot of eggs in the coop and my oldest RIR likes to sit on them . Since I have no roo, she doesn't realize they are duds! The whole coops area is 100 square feet.
I have 5 RIR and 4 SLW, I want to keep them pure. Besides, I am raising the chickens for eggs. I don't want to crack an egg in the pan for breakfast and a baby chick come out!
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Well I have 5 RIR, and now , 4 SLW, I want to keep the breeds pure, and also, I am raising them for eggs. I really don't want to be making breakfast , crack an egg, and find a baby chick in the pan!
If you gather your eggs every day or every other day you should not find a chick in your egg. The hen has to set on and incubate the eggs for a while before the embryo starts to develop inside the egg.
Get your rooster now, pen him with your chosen breeder(s)~make sure she's actually laying~collect the eggs gently and keep them in a cool, dark place until you get a good clutch of 10-15 eggs. Meanwhile, keep your broody sitting on some wooden eggs, biding the time until you can place your fertile eggs under her. Yes, if she's committed to being broody, she will wait. Let your broody hatch out and raise your flock replacements.

Let her sit and hatch in a pen where the flock can see and hear her but not bother her or the nest. This will help with re-integration of her and the chicks later on. Integration goes much better around 2 wks of age, while the chicks are still too little to be a food competition but are fast enough to evade the older hens and run to mama.

It will help if you get a rooster that is not a cockerel, has his first year behind him and is a more calm and experienced breeder, as a young cockerel will wear the feathers right off the backs of only 9 hens of those breeds. If you start to seeing too much wear there, just pen him away from them a bit and give them some rest.
If you gather your eggs every day or every other day you should not find a chick in your egg. The hen has to set on and incubate the eggs for a while before the embryo starts to develop inside the egg.

Will they taste different?

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