Solution for Broody Hens and Junior Hens Integrate

hens in nest boxes

I'm grateful many of my hens are interested in raising chicks and frequently go broody. I don't like interfering with nature and have always tolerated one broody hen at a time, even if I don't intend for the eggs to hatch. This has worked out well until recently when two other hens decided to join Mini, who had been broody for a few weeks. Three is over the limit for me so I had to take action. The eggs are laid inside the coop and the flock doesn't sleep there. They have always preferred roosting at night on a branch in the paddock. I decided to move all of the broody hens out of the coop and lock it up for the night. This worked very well. Over night two of the hens stopped being broody.

two young hens

Shortly after the mass broody episode I determined the time had arrived for the two junior hens, Brownie and Lil Sweet, to integrate with the adult flock.

two hens

I opened the doors that separated them and watched for the first half hour or so to make sure no one got hurt. Junior, the rooster, immediately began a courting ritual but soon realized it was a little early to begin mating with them. I think the young hens will begin laying eggs in a week or less.

flock of hens and one rooster

Meanwhile, Mini remained broody inside the coop. As I said earlier, one hen was my limit so I let her continue. Brownie and Lil Sweet spent a lot of time hanging out around Mini. After a few days the juniors decided to sleep in the nest box. Mini was doing it, so why not? I had to take action again and now no one is allowed to be inside the coop at night. Mini didn't seem to mind the change and stopped being broody.