So, after wanting to add to our flock for some time, we finally took the dive and placed 4 Ameraucana chicks under our super-broody Buff Orpington, Lucy, last night. (Lucy is an older hen who as never mothered before but will go broody for weeks on end.) After going out there this morning, they were all still under her and she seemed contented enough, though she definitely still puffed up and squawked at me when I opened the door, like she always does when broody. Following the instruction of this blog, I pulled each of the chicks out and showed them the food, much to the dismay of Lucy. When they tried to return under her for warmth, however, Lucy would peck them if they got close. I ended up having to slip them back under her myself. Once they were under her, she didn't object to them staying and settled back down over them.
Am I wrong in thinking that Lucy's pecking is just her still transitioning from broody to mama mode and she may still snap out of it and be a good mama? Or should I consider this a failed venture, hang my head in shame, and pull out the brooder? I fully plan on checking on them again later this morning but I don't want to incite bad mothering all because she's acting broody and defensive at me.
I also have heard some people try again if the first night of adoption doesn't go well. She certainly didn't kick them out of the nest and is more protective than she usually is on the nest (she's not one to peck when bothered on the nest, even when broody). I just don't know but I do know that I don't want to find 4 dead chicks out there later today. Any advice is welcome!
Thanks in advance!