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Q. I have four hens and a cockerel; two of the hens, both Sussex, have now gone broody. They are sitting next to each other on 10 eggs. Should I separate them and move them away from the other two hens and cockerel?

A. Charlotte Popescu says: You should definitely not have the broodies in with your other birds. The hens will be laying eggs which may get muddled up with the hatching eggs. Also, when the chicks hatch, the Mums will be very protective of their chicks and need their own quarters. It may be easiest for you to leave the Mums where they are (often Mother Hens don’t like being moved once they have started incubation). The ideal solution would be to move the other hens and cockerel to their own run. The question as to whether the two Mums will be fine together is a tricky one. I have two Silkie crosses who brought up their chicks together and this can work very well, especially if you are short of housing. I would leave the two Mums where they are and when the chicks hatch watch very closely as to how they behave. If they start fighting or pecking at the chicks then you will have to act quickly to divide them up.

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