Two broody hens - same nest - help needed!

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by okiepony, Sep 12, 2011.

  1. okiepony

    okiepony Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 10, 2011
    Hi y'all...

    I'm still a newbie with chickens (started in March), and I have a hen that went broody (my first ever) a little over two weeks ago. During that time it seems the OTHER hens have been adding more eggs to the nest and as of a few days ago, another hen started sitting on the same nest. They're right next to each other, wing to wing...

    My questions:

    1) do I need to separate the two, and make each one their own nest?
    If so, do they have to have some sort of enclosure between them so they can't get in/on each other's nests?

    2) do I need to separate the two from the rest of the hens and the roos?

    I'm expecting the chickies to start to hatch this week, I think we're on day 17 since the first one started sitting on the nest.... so, I'm in urgent need of advice here!!

  2. djennings

    djennings Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 10, 2011
    Sabine Pass, TX.
    I have read alot of people on BYC will leave them together but kind of keep them separate from the others. They need to be close to bottom of coop floor so babies will not hur themselves.
  3. okiepony

    okiepony Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 10, 2011
    Thanks [​IMG]

    I'm in the process of making a divider to keep the others away.

    The hen that was wanting to doublenest took off when I showed up, so it could be that she's not in it for real. I can make a 2nd divider if she returns, and then I'll divide the nest, too. I hope she makes up her mind before long :|
  4. boogiedog

    boogiedog Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 19, 2010
    Oakland hills, CA
    I had a similar problem. What I found was the hens would steal the eggs from each other, and when another hen went broody she would steal from the first two (I had all the eggs marked). Eggs would get kicked out of the nest, buried in pine shavings, it was getting complicated. I ended up putting a dog kennel in the coop, moving the eggs in and then putting the hen on top (and she has a water and food dish in with her). She settled on the eggs and I don't have to worry about others slipping in eggs or stealing hers - or eggs getting kicked out or broken. It has worked well for me although it does cramp my coop floor space.
  5. okiepony

    okiepony Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 10, 2011
    Thanks Boogiedog [​IMG]

    It seems now the "doublenester" gave up and doesn't want to stay on the nest (for now?).... not sure if that's good or bad, since I have clearly two sets of eggs under that original broody hen - the eight originals that I checked and that look like they're getting ready to go, and another set of 7 eggs that are maybe midway through :|

    I don't know if she stole most of the other eggs, or if the others "volunteered" them. I do know that the doublenester hen has been laying eggs there while the other was nesting, just adding to the pile. *sigh*

    So, after the 8 original ones are done I'll have to figure out if I can get that doublenester hen to sit on the rest of them for the duration or something.... :| Yikes.

    Yep, I should have separated the broody one from the start. Dum-dum.
  6. JulieNKC

    JulieNKC Overrun With Chickens

    Sep 25, 2010
    Kansas City
    I left mine together( a buff orp and a silkie). When one would get up for a break, the other took over most of the eggs. When she'd come back, she'd steal some back. I figured that way they could take a break without leaving the nest all alone. They raised the chicks together as well.

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