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I'm hoping to get a broody hen or two this spring. What do I need to do to raise chicks? Do I separate broody hens into their own rearing area or will they be ok in the coop with the rest if the flock? How about when the chicks hatch?


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It depends on the breed and the personality of the hen. With some breeds its dangerous to the chick to keep them within the flock. Some the hens are so overly protective they attack any bird within a few feet.
 

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Question 1. A standby incubator/brooder just in case, A coop big enough for mom and chicks, and nerves of steel.

Question 2. Yes you will want to separate for 3 reasons.
1. homicidal hens
2. Broodiness is very contagious
3. better monitoring.

Question 3. On hatch day, the broody hen will hatch the eggs and watch for homicidal broody hen syndrome. This is when the broody hen starts pulling an Andrea Yates.

Long Explanations

For question 1
The reason you want to have a incubator/brooder on stand by is because sometimes your hen will quit or you will have homicidal broody hen syndrome. The homicidal broody hen will start killing off all her brood once they hatch. Some breeds are better broodiers than others but there's no way to tell till you go through it with them

For the coop I've heard of dog houses and crates being repurposed very easy. Mostly wire dog crates meant for a beagle to border collie sized dog (medium small to medium in the range of 25-50 lbs). The dogs are calf to knee high. Make sure a day old chick can get into the coop and access the nest box. They can hop but not that high.

For nerves of steal, Broody hens change a lot. From poop to behavior. The poop will be giant mess. The hen will drive you nuts with their work ethic and you may have to hand feed and water them.

for Question 2

If this is your first round with these hens they will be a but of a wild card. You won't know how they act around day old chicks until you let them. So if one is a homicidal hen you don't want it hurting the other brood.

If you only want 2 broody hens you don't want them with the rest of your flock. You will get 12 instead of 2.

It's easier to monitor and keep a close eye on them in the quarantine coop.

Bonus info
Switch the hen to grower. It's a common mistake that can lead to kidney stones but she won't lay for 3 months ish.

If everything goes well the hen does all the work
 

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Once those hormones hit there are not enough eggs in the world for a broody.
I'm not even sure if she can cover that many. She is an egg hog!

Lol I hope the ones you wanted are marked.
It is one of the Ameraucana breeding pens with 3 AM hens and 1 White Leghorn hen so it doesn't really matter, they all get hatched. :) I am almost finished with a pen just for her and her babies because I know all of these are not going to hatch on the same day and she won't have to worry about the others interfering that way.
 

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I had a silky crossed hen that was big as a minute who would do this. She'd sit up on this pyramid of eggs and try her best to cover them all. It never worked, the poor dear, shed end up hatching maybe a half dozen. But most of the eggs would have development, so she was obviously trying hard to keep them rotated under her. Oddly enough most of the hatch would be her chicks. Funny how they know.
She was an awesome mom, too.
 

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Are you building it from scratch or converting something?
It is an addition to the main coop. I started off 3 years ago with an 8'X16' coop and run. Now it has grown to about 900 sq feet. :)
 

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Is this pen big enough for 5 bantams it's 4x8

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I think it is.
You better separate her from the other flock to avoid fighting.
It is only the 4 hens in that pen. She is top hen and a mean one to boot. You will bring back a bloody hand if you try to take her eggs or chicks from the nest. If I do move her, it will be at night.
 

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Well there were 22 eggs in the nest and 2 hens were sitting on them so I moved both hens and the eggs last night. I put the eggs in the nest and put both hens in there and they stayed. This morning when I went out there all 22 eggs were cold and the hens were checking out their new pen. I hate wasting all of those hatching eggs. I will throw them away and leave the hens in that pen for a few days to see what they do.

There was one egg that had hatched but I never found that chick. Its like it vanished. :confused:
 

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Well there were 22 eggs in the nest and 2 hens were sitting on them so I moved both hens and the eggs last night. I put the eggs in the nest and put both hens in there and they stayed. This morning when I went out there all 22 eggs were cold and the hens were checking out their new pen. I hate wasting all of those hatching eggs. I will throw them away and leave the hens in that pen for a few days to see what they do.

There was one egg that had hatched but I never found that chick. Its like it vanished. :confused:
Don't throw them away. Give them a chance to hatch the eggs.

Did the one egg really hatched or they ate it?
 

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Don't throw them away. Give them a chance to hatch the eggs.

Did the one egg really hatched or they ate it?
I left them. She is sitting on them again so we'll see.

I do think she ate the egg because I never found a chick and after I moved her I found another one that looked like it had hatched but no chick to be found. They were both White Leghorn eggs, not Ameraucana, hmmmm. I think she knew she had too many and was culling them.
 

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Well there were 22 eggs in the nest and 2 hens were sitting on them so I moved both hens and the eggs last night. I put the eggs in the nest and put both hens in there and they stayed. This morning when I went out there all 22 eggs were cold and the hens were checking out their new pen. I hate wasting all of those hatching eggs. I will throw them away and leave the hens in that pen for a few days to see what they do.

There was one egg that had hatched but I never found that chick. Its like it vanished. :confused:
i like using a plastic dog crate for broodys
i pick them up on trash day before the truck arrives to haul them off
they work well & are priced rite :D
 
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