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two broody hens, two hatches in the same coop - will that work?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Gonda, Aug 18, 2011.

  1. Fluff-n-Feathers

    Fluff-n-Feathers Out Of The Brooder

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    When I had both my cochin and my silkie go broody I got them both fertile eggs to sit on and they sat right by each other the whole time and they both took care of all the babies. They both had their own that would go under them at night but when they were out in the grass both the mommies wound mother all the chicks. I don't know if this is normal but its what happeded to me. (It may have helped that they were best buddies too) [​IMG]
     
  2. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Quote:That's the best part about letting them brood in the coop with the other birds IMO; no integration issues. The chicks are part of the flock from day one.
     
  3. Ole rooster

    Ole rooster Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Lisa........how in the world does a hen walk from one nest to another stealing eggs? I never knew a chicken could walk with an egg if it wasnt' in her. How do they do it?
     
  4. heatherkh

    heatherkh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Interesting discussion. One of our Australorps went broody while we were on vacation, and we're on the fence about whether to break her of it or just throw some eggs under her and see what happens. We'd totally be having them in the flock, so I suppose I'd just have to steels myself for the worst and hope for the best. One thing is that our nesting boxes are about 2' off the ground. If we wanted to have her hatch, should we set her up a nest lower to the ground and/or in a dog crate?

    If we decide to break her, we're going to be using our old rabbit hutch...which we could also use for her to hatch some chicks...but I do rather like the idea of the chicks being a part of the flock from the get go.
     
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Yes some good discussion. I liked the response, you won't know until you try. Hens have been hatching and raising chicks with the flock for thousands of years. Sometimes bad things happen. Usually they don't.

    I'll mention that I've seen a broody get chicks out of a 10' high hay loft. Mama says jump and they do. I won't say something bad can't happen, but those chicks got up and ran to Mama. I would not worry at all about them getting out of a 2' high nest. I would check to see where Mama wants them to sleep their first night or two though. Usually it is on the floor in a corner of the coop, but I have had some that want the chicks to get back up in the nest. You'd be surprised at how well some of them do, but I have had a couple of times that the chicks needed help the first couple of nights.
     
  6. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Quote:If they can't kick it along, they will pick it up. No, I'm not kidding. They tuck it under their "chin;" they can hold an egg against their upper neck with the lower part of their head. I've read of this several times here, being observed. I've never seen it, but I've certainly had eggs "magically" get carried somewhere they could not possibly be rolled.
     
  7. heatherkh

    heatherkh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the input, Ridgerunner. Much appreciated!
     
  8. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Quote:If they can't kick it along, they will pick it up. No, I'm not kidding. They tuck it under their "chin;" they can hold an egg against their upper neck with the lower part of their head. I've read of this several times here, being observed. I've never seen it, but I've certainly had eggs "magically" get carried somewhere they could not possibly be rolled.

    I've seen it with my own two eyes and it's a riot. Jethro the silkie is a big time egg thief and she's tiny. She stops once I give her eggs to set on.

    Something else that I have going on right now that is slightly OT - for the first time in their three years of laying I have started finding eggs on the floor of the brahma coop. I naturally assumed that one or more of the brahma hens were having trouble making it to the nestboxes in time.

    Turns out, that's not the case. For whatever reason the younger hens have decided they like the nestboxes in the brahma coop better than the ones in their own coop. Same exact nestboxes in make and size, just slightly higher in the brahma coop.

    The reason eggs are ending up on the floor? The brahma hens (who are molting right now so not laying) are waiting until the younger hens have laid all their eggs then they, the brahmas, go in and kick, roll and otherwise move the invaders eggs out of THEIR nestboxes.

    Nothing chickens do surprises me anymore.
     
  9. heatherkh

    heatherkh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'd pay good money to see your little egg stealing silkie!! Sounds hysterical!
     
  10. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Quote:Jethro is just plain hysterical anyhow. When I force her off the nest once a day she runs around outside clucking her fool head off and attacking anybody and anything that gets in her way. My DH and I almost busted a gut yesterday when she suddenly decided to zoom back to her nest and knocked two of my brahma hens off their feet in the process. The brahma hens weigh 8 - 9 pounds a piece; Jethro weighs 2 lbs. She is indeed a force to be reckoned with, but she's a good mama.
     

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