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Can I give a broody hen chicks?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

We have a hen that I think is a buff orphington and she seems to go broody ALOT!!  She has been broody now for 2 weeks. We just bought 6 RIR straight run chicks at TSC and I was wondering if we give them too her if she will rise them? Do hens raise chicks that they didn't hatch?  Will it help her get over the broodiness? Thanks for any input!!:jumpy

post #2 of 6


I have never done it, but read that it can be done with success (though not always). If you present a chick to your broody and she clucks and seems happy enough, then you can try and add the rest of the chicks. You would have to be prepared to intervene as she could take a dislike to them and kill them. Its my observation that hens that have hatched before tend to be more "sympathetic" to chicks - on a number of occasions they have acted as aunts to the chicks in my flock.

 

All the best

CT

Nairobi, Kenya
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Nairobi, Kenya
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post #3 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by katssmilin View Post

We have a hen that I think is a buff orphington and she seems to go broody ALOT!!  She has been broody now for 2 weeks. We just bought 6 RIR straight run chicks at TSC and I was wondering if we give them too her if she will rise them? Do hens raise chicks that they didn't hatch?  Will it help her get over the broodiness? Thanks for any input!!jumpy.gif
You sure can! Put them under her at night from behind and watch carefully to see how she reacts. She should get a little clucky, readjust herself, and then make purring sounds. Broodies will sometimes peck the chicks to shove them back under them to warm up. That's fine, but watch for excessive pecking as she might kill them.

I just had a 2nd hen go broody, so I'll be giving her the eggs that the other broody has been sitting on for 2 weeks and give the 1st broody some of the chicks that are due to arrive on Friday.

American Buff Geese - Welsh Harlequin Ducks - Alpacas

 

Waterfowl for Meat Production Thread

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American Buff Geese - Welsh Harlequin Ducks - Alpacas

 

Waterfowl for Meat Production Thread

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post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 

Thanks for replying. Does it matter that the chicks are about a week or 2 old? What about the food? Will the older chickens eat it? It's medicated chick starter?:jumpy

post #5 of 6
Sometimes it works sometimes it doesn't. Depends on the hen. Just supervise carefully when you do it. My hen tried to kill the day old I put under her, and she wasn't a first time mum so had seen chicks before but despite 3 tries each time when she got a good look at it she tried to kill it. And it wasn't put them under her pecking, it was full defensive stance growls attack pecking. So watch really carefully.

At a week or two old you are pushing it a bit. They need to still be small enough to hide right under her.
Edited by appps - 3/16/16 at 6:41pm

Aussie Mum to
our sizzle Al

our neurotic Partridge Silkie Penny

and our sweethearts the Salmon Favorelles girls, Colonel , Winry & Carl
And our big girls the Australorps, Pepper, Blackie and Tonio

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Aussie Mum to
our sizzle Al

our neurotic Partridge Silkie Penny

and our sweethearts the Salmon Favorelles girls, Colonel , Winry & Carl
And our big girls the Australorps, Pepper, Blackie and Tonio

Reply
post #6 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by katssmilin View Post

Thanks for replying. Does it matter that the chicks are about a week or 2 old? What about the food? Will the older chickens eat it? It's medicated chick starter?jumpy.gif

So it's best if the chicks are under a week old. The hen may view the older chicks as belonging to a different hen and try to attack them. The older chicks are typically also used to a heat lamp and don't understand that Mama Broody keeps them warm now.

If you keep a broody with chicks in the coop with the rest of the flock you will either have to feed them all chick starter or all adult food. If the food you give the adults is a layer ration then it's best to use the chick starter.

You can always give a broody and her chicks their own quarters away from the rest of the flock too. I typically keep mine separate until the chicks are a week old and then put them back with the main flock.

American Buff Geese - Welsh Harlequin Ducks - Alpacas

 

Waterfowl for Meat Production Thread

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American Buff Geese - Welsh Harlequin Ducks - Alpacas

 

Waterfowl for Meat Production Thread

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