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Hatching fertile eggs - advice please
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goatwillow · 24/06/2012 20:22

We have 4 hybrid hens and one went broody at around 24 weeks old. Despite attempts at stopping her over a few weeks, she was very persistent and would not budge so we decided to take advantage of the situation and get some fertile eggs. At the moment she is still in the run with the 3 other hens. I'm wondering how likely the other hens are to be aggressive to the chicks and is it completely essential that we separate her from the other hens before the eggs hatch (if they hatch!). Everything I read presumes that the broody is kept on her own but does anyone have experience of this situation? The problem with this is that they are kept on an allotment so we do not have a huge amount of spare room. Or any other suggestions gratefully received. Thank you.

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Tomjoules · 24/06/2012 20:47

You must put her in a separate run to keep the chicks safe.

If you do decide to sit her, bear mind that 6o% of the hatch is likely to be male - can home that many cockerels?

It is a fab thing to do. We've hatched a few times, but I've a friend who can take the cockerels and grows them on for the table.

There are a few poultry web sites (like omlet) with lots of practical advice available.

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Tomjoules · 24/06/2012 20:48

Sorry posting from phone!

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MissBeehivingUnderTheMistletoe · 25/06/2012 20:58

IME the hens aren't too aggressive to the chicks but the mother is usually very protective so fights break out a lot. Also very young chicks tend to get trampled. She does need to be separate but won't need a lot of room while she's sitting and when the chicks first hatch. You can get broody houses which are very small houses/runs combined which will do initially.

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goatwillow · 26/06/2012 22:13

Thanks for the advice. I think we will get/make a broody house to be on the safe side.

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