Urgent: Broody hen Question!!!!!


◊The Spontaneous Pullet!◊
15 Years
Aug 19, 2008
I just read this from another BYCer on another thread:
"You should seperate or block off you broodies( each one alone) because other hens will keep laying with them or keep knocking them off of the eggs. Also, your other chickens will more than likely kill your newly hatched chicks. Chickens are omnivores and will cannibilize each other."

Now I'm a little worried because our broody hen is on day 20-21. She shares the coop with her sister and a Splash Cochin rooster. Sometimes her sister will be outside all day. The rooster barely pays any attention to the broody hen and her eggs. Her sister barely pays any attention to her either; in fact, she has decided to lay her eggs down in a corner on the floor instead of the nest box with the broody hen in it or the nest box next to it. I guess she's just afraid of the broody hen because every time someone goes near her, she will puff up her feathers and growl and scream at you. Her sister is smart enough to know what that means I guess.

But anyway, after reading what the BYCer wrote above about how "the other chickens will more than likely kill the newly hatched chicks", I'm worried that this will happen with ours. I've also heard that the broody hen will protect her chicks from the others. So now I'm confused; which one is it???
My broody has done an excellent job protecting her chicks and and I was pretty concerned in the beginning.

I wouldn't worry about her so much- just keep an eye on them in the beginning- but maybe someone else will weigh in- I only havee this recent experience with my first broody.
You say you have 3 chickens, 1 rooster, 1 laying hen, and 1 broody hen? How big is their coop and run? I would think that a broody could most likely protect her babies from just 1 rooster and 1 other hen. You could always lean pieces of wood against the walls and such to make little places for the chicks to hide if they're chased by the other adults.

I would not suggest moving the hen now, but if you can maybe lock the other two chickens out of the coop while broody hatches her babies?
Your other hen MIGHT try to harm the chicks- and your mama hen may get exhausted from being in constant range of potential danger.
From my experience- I have the mother hen & chicks in a seperate coop. They all free range together (after chicks are a few weeks old) and the hen gets extremely agitated any time another bird gets near. She will even fight with the rooster- but I have never seen the rooster try to harm the chicks. Some roosters even make great babysitters- must depend on the breed/individual.

Just watch your hens and seewhat happens. The babies probably won't come "out" from under mom for a couple days- so Make some preparations just in case you need to move someone.
It's both. In my personal opinion, since you don't have a lot of chickens in there with her...I'd leave her be. In my case where there are 15 girls in a coop, I move mine so they aren't jacked with. 7 nest boxes, and only 3 are used. I tried leaving one mommy in there, and she was sat on, pooped on, and robbed of her nest daily. So I moved her and she's doing great. Just keep your eyes on the babies after they hatch, and make sure they aren't getting picked on. Most of the time my mommas have done good jobs of protecting the babies, but I have had adults pick and peck the babies. You just have to keep an eye out, if they do start getting picked on, you will have to move them out.
No, I don't believe I said that...?
We have 3 coops...1 has our laying breeds, the other has our smaller breeds, and the last one has 1 rooster, 1 hen, and 1 broody hen in it. They have not really bothered the broody hen at all so far since she has been sitting on her eggs.

Thanks everyone for the quick answers! Everyone is telling me to watch them after they hatch, just in case...but the problem is, I won't be able to because they are about over an hour away at my dad's house and I'm at my mom's house for the rest of the week and maybe the weekend. So I'm going to miss out on them hatching and everything.

I will ask my dad to see if he can find time to watch them for a little while...
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