Two broody hens, one baby chick

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by AtlantisPeeps, Aug 11, 2016.

  1. AtlantisPeeps

    AtlantisPeeps Songster

    May 19, 2014
    I had two broody hens each sitting on a small clutch of eggs. They kept getting up and pushing each other off their nests and stealing each others eggs. As a result, they all cracked and the embryos died. I tried again and all but 3 eggs didn't crack. One broody had two egg, the other had one. On the day of lockdown, I candled. Two of those were complete mush with disconnected air cells. I removed them. The next day a little chick popped right out of the last egg! I put green wire in the coop to keep mamma and the little one in and the others out. I named the baby Rio after the Olympics. Anywho, the other broody is completely distraught and is pacing around the barrier clucking. I tried putting the baby in another best box to see if she would accept it (To calm her down) but she ran it it with her wings out and tried to attack it! I instantly put the baby back with it mama. What should I do about the extra broody? I don't have space enough to give her her own clutch.

    Also, when should I be able to take the barrier down and let mamma and baby back into the flock?

    Last edited: Aug 11, 2016

  2. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Crossing the Road

    Nov 7, 2012
    You've got a dilemma on your hands. My recommendation is to remove the other broody to a broody buster cage, and get that cage out of sight and hearing range of the Mama and her baby. How many chickens do you have? What is the square footage of your coop and of your run? The broody hormones will be highest within the first 2 weeks. IF you had enough room, it would be a good idea to let Mama and baby integrate with the flock during those 2 weeks. But it sounds like you don't have enough room to do that safely. I'm only guessing. Is there any way you can do a temporary add on to your coop/run? (or a permanent size increase??? NO matter how you do it, you will have to supervise Mama and baby around the rest of the flock until you see how it goes. A crowded coop/run tend to increase aggression, and every flock is different. Some folks have had other hens kill their broody chicks. It all depends on so many things. I wish you the best with your little peep!
  3. azygous

    azygous Free Ranging

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    Yeah, that's what I would do - break the other broody away from mother and chick.

    I have a broody hen with one chick, five days old, currently. What I'm doing is keeping her and the chick in a separate coop and run, but when the two are out in the run, the rest of the flock gets to observe them. So for all practical purposes, as long as the flock gets to see mother and baby every day, they are integrating by proximity.

    When the chick gets a bit older, I will allow the chick to start mingling with the rest of the flock using a panic room and portal system. That will come after the broody weans the chick and is no longer caring for it.

    I've never done this with just one chick before, but that's going to be my plan.

    You may need to think about expanding your run. In the past, I've run into flock challenges of one sort or another, and it's been the catalyst for expanding and improving my coops and runs. All for the better!
  4. AtlantisPeeps

    AtlantisPeeps Songster

    May 19, 2014
    Thanks guys! I'm not exactly sure of the square footage, but my coop holds 20 chickens comfortably. I have 6 in there. I do however have my run cut in half as I'm integrating 12, 6 week old chicks. My ladies are quite friendly (That's why the broody attacking it was quite startling to me). The extra broody seems to be calmer today, so I'll keep an eye on her!
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    How do you know it will hold 20 birds if you don't know the square footage?
    1 person likes this.

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