Should you separate a broody hen from other hens and cockerels?
This is a tricky one as there are arguments for and against. If you separate a broody hen from the rest of the flock you are safe guarding the safety of the hen and chicks when they hatch as they are not going to be attacked by the other hens and cockerels as they are separate. However one problem that can arise from separating them is that it is difficult to integrate the hen and chicks back into the flock when they are older. Another problem when separating the broody hen is that if you disturb her whilst she is sitting on her eggs and move the nest then she may not resit on the eggs.
If you keep them all together then there is a possibility that the other hens or cockerel could attack the chicks, although the broody hen/mother hen will fiercely protect her chicks.
You need to decide what is best for your flock and the chicks. you may be able to pen off an area so the rest of the hens and cockerel can see the broody hen but are not able to get to her so that the chicks will be safe when they hatch.
We have had a question from Wendy relating to this issue.
Can someone help me please? We have 3 hens and a cockerel. Unfortunately one of the hens has gone broody and is sitting on her eggs, All 4 live in the same coop at night. I need to know what I should be doing. Do I need to move her to another run and coop? If I leave her where she is with the others, will they effect her hatching them, if not will they attack the chicks??
My reply was;
Thanks for your question. At the moment I don’t have experience of hens hatching chicks with a cockerel and other hens around but I would advise that you move the other hens and cockerel. The other hens and cockerel may not like the chicks and could try to kill them (not always the case). If you move the broody hen then she may not sit on the eggs, so I would move the others if that’s possible. I would make sure that once the chicks hatch that the other hens and cockerel can see the chicks and hen so that when you put them altogether they will mix ok.
Good luck with the hatch and let us know how you get on.
Sara @ farmingfriends
If you have any experience of separating a broody hen from the flock or keeping the broody hen with the flock we would love to hear from you.
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