Joint Custody

My two broody hens stared at each other in their separate nests for the last 4 weeks, on fake eggs and then on the fertile Cochin eggs I bought on ebay.  I had been thinking about the possibility of letting them sit with their chicks together, too.  However, most of the expert chicken sources recommend separating broody hens from the rest of the flock and from each other.  I have read a few horror stories on backyardchickens.com where two broody hens have fought and killed newly hatched chicks rather than let another hen near or share.  However, I came across enough posts where two hens happily shared their babies to realize it has been done successfully. Life would be so much simpler if I only had to refill one waterer and one feeder and clean only one pen. Also, the tiny garage would be less crowded with just one pen. I selfishly wanted my two hens to have joint custody.

Bantam Cochin Hens sharing chicks

Yesterday, chicks hatched.  They are super duper cute, with some various shade of partridge/ chipmunk patterns, a few odd blue ones, and a black. Guess What? The mama hens are sharing the chicks just fine so far. I haven’t seen any signs of fighting or hoarding. Hopefully all continues to go well. Since I like watching chicken TV, I will check on them regularly throughout the next few days to make sure they are still keeping the peace. If it doesn’t work out, I can always get out the other set up.

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Comments

Joint Custody — 2 Comments

  1. Awwwwww! Prissy actually co-parented with Dolly the frizzle after Dolly took a shining to them about a week after they were hatched. I would sneek a peek at night and each would be snuggling with a few chicks in seperate nestboxes. Maybe the Cochin temperment makes this easier than with other breeds of chickens?

    • I am glad to hear you had a good experience with your Cochins co-parenting. It makes me optimistic this will work out well.

      I am not surprised it was Prissy that didn’t mind sharing the chicks she hatched. She was always an easy going chicken when she lived here.

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