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...and guineas too.
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About a week ago, one of our 9 bantam hens began to set on a daily harvest of 5 eggs; feeling the time (spring) right, we let the clutch build to 11 and marked them. We harvest 2 - 3 unmarked eggs daily with no issue. However, for the past 3 days, there are two other hens who've moved in on the setting task; they all seem to have no issue with one another...so my question: when they hatch, will there be competition for the chicks? Would it matter? Recommendations? Thank you......
 

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Sometimes when you have co-broodies it all works out fine, sometimes it doesn't. When it doesn't and they end up fighting over the chicks, the chicks always end up the losers. I have always housed my broodies separate, yet together by giving them each their own little dog kennel within the coop. They don't have to be large crates, just big enough for the broody's nest, a small waterer and food bowl and enough room that she can get off the nest to poop. For the first 16 to 18 days of brooding, the hen is free to come and go out of the kennel as she pleases. After that I put a chick-sized waterer and small bowl of food in the crate and lock the broody in. After she hatches I keep her and her chicks locked in, except for short, supervised excursions for about three days. The broody always lets me know when she's ready to bring her brood out to meet the flock. I have always done it this way and always had good results. The best part is there is no integration issues later, with trying to introduce the chicks to the flock, because they have been there all along. You have to know the dynamics of your flock well for this and especially the temperament of your rooster. I have been blessed with several roosters that are good with chicks and even help protect them.
If your coop doesn't allow for such an arrangement, I would still brainstorm on ways to separate the hens. Oh and if and when you decide to move your broodies (to the crate or elsewhere), it's best to do it at night.
 

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Good advice and well stated. Thank you for this. I have to introduce about 20 chicks in about a month so I'll take any advice I can get.
 

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Good advice and well stated. Thank you for this. I have to introduce about 20 chicks in about a month so I'll take any advice I can get.
So far I haven't had much trouble introducing new (unrelated) chicks to my flocks, using the same separate, but together method.
Good luck.
 
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