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Who has had multiple broodies? Advice needed

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by keeperofthehearth, Mar 20, 2009.

  1. keeperofthehearth

    keeperofthehearth Chillin' With My Peeps

    Do you separate them into individual broody areas? That could get to be a mess if you have 3 or 4 broodies w/chicks of different ages. Recommendations on how to keep everyone happy & safe as they learn to get along?
    I have two broodies right now that I'm going to give day olds to tomorrow & one broody who has just started sitting on a clutch. I also want to hatch more under broodies thru the summer and I have two clutches of Scovie duck eggs being laid right now in the same shed. I will have eggs, chicks, broodies (chooks & ducks) all over the chook shed in the next few weeks. LAST year I only had two broodies w/chicks at the same time and those two moms would try to kill eachother anytime they were within 8 ft. of the other. It was not nice [​IMG] So, of course, this year I want to expand that experience. [​IMG]
    By the by, if my DH gets the secured duck house built by the time the Scovie ducklings hatch, we will gather the ducklings and mom and take them over to their new quarters but I don't want to disturb their clutches until then.
     
  2. PortageGirl

    PortageGirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    My broodies have always been quite mellow about things... are these ones the same hens? Are they normally of a grumpy temperment? Were the ones last year that way too? I dunno what to tell you, sorry not to be more helpful.

    Mine have been either New Hampshire Reds, or Rhode Islands, and numerous mutts too, all good mums, mostly got along. [​IMG] If the chicks were safe, I guess I'd let them work it out...
     
  3. keeperofthehearth

    keeperofthehearth Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thanks PortageGirl. Did you just leave them all together then?

    The two broodies last year are not the same as this years girls. One, Teagan, was a high strung mom, Dark Cornish and a bit above Freda on the pecking order. Freda was a spitfire mutt who thought she should be above Teagan though a really good mom and broody. I am hoping since my Barnie's by and large are pretty docile along with my Marans girl they will get along better. I am hoping that one of my Dark Brahma's goes broody this summer since they seem so laid back.
     
  4. Lucky Ducky

    Lucky Ducky Chillin' With My Peeps

    We have 1 hen that recently hatched out 8 babies and 4 hens that are broody and setting on eggs. 1 has 9, 1 has 11, 1 has 10 and the other has 17!!!! We separated our broodies out into cages. Same with the Momma. All of the other hens kept laying on top of those setting and this makes it loads easier. [​IMG]
     
  5. keeperofthehearth

    keeperofthehearth Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nice batch of broodies you have there LD. [​IMG] I only have one cage & I need to keep that available for emergencies. So, I need a quick, cheap and easy way to put together multiple broody areas as I need them. Any ideas?
    Otherwise, I am going to have to make shift one or two broody areas for a week at the most then pull them apart and let mom and chicks fend.
     
  6. Lucky Ducky

    Lucky Ducky Chillin' With My Peeps

    I've seen on here where others just put some temporary fencing over the opening in the nest box. They would let the hens out at various times to poop, eat and drink. Or they'd put a cage over mom and eggies. After they hatched the mom won't let them out until they're about 3 days old( I think). Sooo you could wait & see what your other hens would do. [​IMG] I've also read on here about hens who share raising the babies.
     
  7. keeperofthehearth

    keeperofthehearth Chillin' With My Peeps

    TKs LD for the input. Tomorrow I pick up some day olds for two of my broodies. This will be a little hit and miss but I will have a day to get something worked out. [​IMG] It seems I have to make changes fm my original plans once mom and chickies settle in anyway. Those girls usually have minds of their own on how it should be. [​IMG]
     
  8. PortageGirl

    PortageGirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    mine have always been just in the common area, yeah, there's fights sometimes, but the chicks have always been safe... it's a bit of a worry with the first clutch, but I try to get the old pro to have the first hatch,,, she sort of sets the tone, and protects them the best, then they all seem to take their cue from her. And I try not to have huge clutches, even if it means taking some eggs away. I want staggered clutchs, so they're all a bit graduated in age, and so the chicks have different gene pools. I try to trade roos with a a couple friends every year, who also have chickens, so all our flocks are somewhat related now, but our chics are not close relations that way. heh. I've lost a few to preditors, (free ranging risks) and renew with new chicks, but plenty of older hens too.

    I don't know if it's the right way to do things, but it has been working for some time now, and I learned a lot years and years ago from an elderly fellow, then got me some book learnin' and personal experience too. There was a gap in chicken keeping for me, but I found it's all like riding a bike! You might learn some new tricks, but you don't really forget how!
     
  9. keeperofthehearth

    keeperofthehearth Chillin' With My Peeps

    Good advise PG! Thanks. I like the idea of smaller clutches also. I think it gives mom an easier time watching out for the young'ns esp. if it's her first time and I want to get the feel for how she will mother. I don't really have an older pro for our first hatch since Tegan isn't laying or broody anymore so hopefully this will set the tone for a few years to come. This is the first year I have a half dozen young broodies so the next few years should be fun. I have a good chance of getting a young Barnie roo later this spring and will need to figure out what to do with one of my two EE roos. I'd like to separate the Barnevelders out full time but that isn't going to be feasible for at least a year or so. Thanks again. I'm feeling more confident about having two or more broodies and staggered clutches. If this goes well for us this year it is definitly the way I'm going to want to do this.
     
  10. Southernbelle

    Southernbelle Gone Broody

    Mar 17, 2008
    Virginia
    I have 3 broodies raising chicks and 3 sitting on eggs right now. They're all Silkies and it's not uncommon for me to have 3 and 4 broodies at once. I think this is a new record for me - 6 at once (out of 10 hens).

    I used to seperate everyone, but when the numbers get this high, I run out of room. At least with everyone broody, no one is laying eggs, so I don't have to worry about odd eggs in the nests! [​IMG] I just leave the girls wherever they choose to go broody - the Silkies are seperated from my standard flock - and they don't cause trouble for each other. The mamas always protect their chicks and the Silkies are so used to regular additions of chicks, they don't usually care. The only times a chick gets harassed is when an older chick tries to pick on someone elses younger chick and the broody mama usually sorts that out really quick.

    Whenever I have Mamas raising babies the same age, they often co-parent. Those 3 girls raising chicks were all due to hatch at the same time - two of the girls were even sharing a nest box - 9 chicks hatched and the babies kept switching nests. One mama continued to get up and eat while her babies were hatching and when she would leave the nest, the babies would wander around and the nest-sharing broodies would round them up and take them. I would try to sort it out and put the babies back with the right mama, but the babies would jump ship and hop back to the other mamas. When they all got off the nests, they just started co-parenting. It's really funny to watch all 3 broodies and all 9 babies squish themselves into a single 5 gal bucket at bedtime! [​IMG]
     

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