Two Broodies, One nest, Twenty-sumthin eggs

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by The Chickeneer, Apr 8, 2012.

  1. The Chickeneer

    The Chickeneer ~A Morning's Crow~

    So another two of my hens went broody. I'ts been a crazy little broody town out here lately, so I've run out of enough nest boxes for them to sit in. So I have them in a nice dark rabbit cage full of straw. They originally had no eggs to sit on, and coincidentaly I had been saving some eggs for the 'bator to hatch. So of course I gave them the eggs.....

    When I putt them in the rabbit cage to use as a nest box, I made two little bowl shapes in the straw as to make a nest for each of them. I divided the twenty-sumthin eggs in the nests and then moved the broodies in there. The "nests" are like 2 inches away from each other, and one of the hens keeps stealing the others eggs. I checked on them, one hen had 4 eggs and one had too many she couldn't even fit themunder her lol. So i fixed that problem, took a while, but after returning the eggs back a bunch of times, I guess the other hen got tired of stealin 'em.

    So my questions are ; Will this work out? Once the eggs hatch? I wonder how those chicks are going to chose wich mother they want each night when they go to sleep under them. Will the mothers raise them toghether? Or would they go their separate ways, and peck the other mothers chicks when they come near them. Or will there be so many chicks they just loose track and don't care at all which mother the chicks go to during the day or night

    Has anybody ever done this "double broody " thing?. And how did it turn out?
  2. Hazelrah

    Hazelrah Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 12, 2012
    bumping. I am curious about this also, surely someone has experienced.
  3. The Chickeneer

    The Chickeneer ~A Morning's Crow~

    Well, I'ts been going good so far, they seem to trade spots allot in the nest tho. They like to steal each others eggs while one of them went off to eat, or they will get of their eggs and switch spots. I will candle some tomoro and will post how it goes.

    I'm not so worried about the incubation part, as broodies, they will probably do an extraordinary job......but once they hatch, who knows what happens then lol I could imagine the hens pecking each other, fighting for custody of their half of the chicks. But who knows they could end up raising them together.
  4. wholewheatchicken

    wholewheatchicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 26, 2011
    Lebanon, Ohio
    I just finished my first time having more than one broody at a time. Three of my hens out of five decided to sit together and two of them sat shoulder to shoulder. I tried to move them and ended up losing eggs because the hens kept moving back to each other. I never realized they were that good of friends in the yard and I had read broodies might kill chicks so I was really worried. Hatch day came and I also had chicks coming out of the incubator that I divided up among the hens. The first day was great and I was really impressed with how the hens were sharing the chicks. On day No. 2 I went to the barn and chicks were screaming everywhere. The two hens that had been shoulder to shoulder were duking it out. It was a sight to see! So I threw those two of the barn and set about making divided pens for the hens and their chicks. The first night we lost one of our chicks....I don't know what happened to it, but we quickly set about putting brooder lights over every girl just in case the chicks got cold.
    So then I had a broody in another room and she was ousted out of her nest my a non-broody hen. The ousted hen was antsing around there in the barn and she stepped on a chick. Fortunately we found it right when it happened. I thought it was dead already, but DH picked it up and massaged it and it got its breath back and made it okay. We made a new and improved pen for her. So on the third day after the last chick hatched, that broody momma jumped into the broody's pen next to her and started attacking that hen and when I put her back in her pen, she didn't want her chicks under her anymore. Then I went to check the hen at the end of the pen line and she had a dead chick.
    That was it. That day all the hens became motherless and all the surviving chicks moved into the house in a brooder box.
    It was awful. My experience was if you have broodies, they need to be in their own closed in spot.
    Good luck to you. I said I wouldn't any any more broodies after that, but I have a girl who has decided to sit in the past few days! I have silkies so I don't know how I am going to keep them girls going, LOL!
  5. The Chickeneer

    The Chickeneer ~A Morning's Crow~

    Well, I think I might have to separate them once the chicks hatch then.....One of the hens is more dominant than the other, so she may want to hog the chicks or something.

    I have some more hens potentialy being broody, but I am trying not to let them. We have more than enough broodies here, and another one just had some chicks hatch. Plus I am setting some eggs today.........there will hopefully be enough pens to put all these chicks in lol.

    March marked the begining of the hatching season for me. So broodies are greatly needed, just not to many lol. The bator goes on hatching eggs full tilt until September/October(depending on the whaether), which marks the end of the hatching season for me. This will be going on every year lol....chicken math....[​IMG]
  6. Haloclimb

    Haloclimb Chillin' With My Peeps

    The problem we had with multiple broodies is that they would end up smashing the eggs by kicking them out of the nest while they were all trying to sit in the same nest! In the end we had to more two of the broodies to completely different pens for them to have some peace.
    The seem to go stupider when they go broody! Never letting them hatch out eggs when more than two are broody again, its was a nightmare!
  7. This might be getting a little offtrack here, but a quick solution to the nest box problem for me was old detergent bottles. I buy liquid detergent
    in those big containers that have the bulb pour spout. I always save them because I use them in my greenhouse filled with clean water for
    quick hand rinsing or whatever. Anyway, I had too many hens go broody at the same time, so I just took a couple of those containers and
    cut the entire side out of them and laid them flat with nesting material. They work great for my silkies and bantams; probably wouldn't be
    big enough for standards, though. But it does give the nests some structure and kept the hens from sitting on top of each other.
  8. m.r.heavenlyhens

    m.r.heavenlyhens Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 19, 2011
    I have three broodies with babies. One of the hens picked an old shed away from everyone, but the other two where accross the nestboxes in their own broody boxes i moved them to. The two that had them together, seem to stay together. You will see the two moms together and all the chicks running around together. When I throw out scratch and stuff the little chicks seems to hold their own. Then when it gets dusk, they chicks all seem to know which mom is which. I will try to post pictures
  9. m.r.heavenlyhens

    m.r.heavenlyhens Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 19, 2011
    Here are some photos[​IMG][​IMG]
  10. m.r.heavenlyhens

    m.r.heavenlyhens Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 19, 2011
    I should add that as soon as the chicks hatched, I shut the mom up with 5 each chicks in seperate boxes. As long as the sleep seperatly they seem to get along fine.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by