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Annabel

Broody hen sharing her fertile eggs with another newly broody hen

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Broody hen sharing her fertile eggs with another newly broody hen

Hi, I have two young hens (less than a year). The Campine went broody and I gave her three hatching eggs (2 of these are fertile and the other looks clear but I have left it as I can see an air sac and these are black copper Marans so very dark).

Anyway - she has been sat on them for 12 days but for the last two days a cream legbar hen has decided to spend large periods of the day sat next to her in the nesting box. At first I thought it was to keep her company or missed her as they were bought together, but then I realised she had also plucked all her tummy feathers out, was growling at me and was broody.

I lifted the CLB out and found she had one of the fertile eggs under her  (and two other eggs that I have left in there from another hen - infertile). When I removed her, the Campine rolled all the eggs back under herself.

The CLB then stayed out for about 15 minutes and promptly returned to the nest,

Should I let this sharing continue such that they each have one egg each to hatch?

These two get on well.

I am planning to remove both of them to a large hutch next to the coop to raise the chicks as the coop they are in is an Omlet Cube and the chicks will likely fall out the door.

Any advice would be much appreciated.

Thanks

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Exactly the same happened to me and both mum's were very attentive.  The only problem I had was one of the hens was very over-exuberant scratching through the bedding looking for food for the chicks and sending them flying if they got in the way and I actually think she trampled one and killed it.  I also lost another chick who managed to get tangled up in the other mum's feathers and sadly was strangled.  I think just see how they go when the chicks are hatched but be prepared to take one away if there's any sign of aggression or one of the hens is 'over-exuberant'.  I think I was very unlucky and I separated one hen for a while and put it back in when the two chicks I had left were a little more robust.  Here's a pic of the two mums and one of my 6 week old chicks.  Good luck x

 

thumbnail_20200717_212527.jpg

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I'm so glad to hear that you have also had experience of two mums.  Sadly I only have two possible chicks to share between them so hoping they both make it otherwise one mum may be very disappointed.  Just very happy to be able to give them both this experience of being a mum- so really glad to hear someone else has shared the chicks, and so sorry to hear about your poor chicks that got strangled and trampled :(

Your mothers and baby chick are stunning by the way.

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