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Will Broody Hen Adopt 3 Week Old Chick?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Hiya!

We have a broody Buff Orpington- our first broody! While I'd love to let her hatch chicks, we don't have a rooster and can't legally get more chickens. However, we have one 3 week old chick, a Cochin, who we'd like to introduce her to. I went out and snuck the chick near her, and left them for just a few minutes- she didn't peck her or anything, but the chick just wandered away. Huffle (the BO) wasn't at all aggressive toward the chick, although she also didn't take right to it, probably because I put the darn thing just next to her. So I just went back out and snuck the chick underneath her- it wriggled a bit, but then I held it under her wing for a oment and it seemed to really settle down. Huffle didn't mind at all.

Do you think it's possible she'll adopt it? Should I steal her eggs? Is there anything else I should do?

Or do you think the chick is too old, and she's just indifferent?

All advice appreciated :)

Thanks!

post #2 of 7
Thread Starter 

UPDATE: That was earlier, when it was still light out. About 1/2 and hour ago I went to put all the chickens away, and I thought that I'd go ahead and try again. I slipped her in between my broody and the nest box wall, then shut the hatch. I went out ten minutes later, and little chick wasn't peeping at all- she was next to broody, although not under her, and they seemed fine. I then went out fifteen minutes after that, and little chick was still between wall and the hen, still quiet, and momma hen seemed happy. :weee

However, I don't know if momma hen is actually momma hen, or if she's just ignoring little chick. Do I leave the chick out all night with her? The chick is three weeks old, and has thusfar been raised by people, but seems pretty happy. I'm just worried that at somepoint the chick will escape momma hen, and die of cold.

Do you think that they'll be fine? Any advice? 

I am totally a helicopter chicken mom :gig 

post #3 of 7
I tried to give an orphan chick to another hen and she killed it. She had some new babies and coyotes had killed my other hen who had 3 chicks so I thought she would take them. She did not:(
post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Redneek View Post

I tried to give an orphan chick to another hen and she killed it. She had some new babies and coyotes had killed my other hen who had 3 chicks so I thought she would take them. She did not:(

I'm so sorry to hear that! Thats horrible! *hugs*
Little chick (Ami) is actually doing better than i thought with Huffle (Mama hen). I just went out to check on them and little peep was sitting right next to Huffle- I tucked her gently underneath mama, and she let out a soft stream if peeps and then quieted. Mama hen jyst clucked softly and slowly settled down around her- I cant wait to check on them in the morning! I REALLY hope everything goes smoothly. I'll check in the morning to reasess and give them food and water- fingers crossed! I'll try to get pics tomorrow smile.png
post #5 of 7

Did the hen take the chick?

post #6 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Redneek View Post
 

Did the hen take the chick?

Yes, do tell?!

post #7 of 7

This all depends on Huffle. But it does appear she's open to nurturing the chick.

 

Be aware that at three weeks, this chick will not be under Huffle very much during the day as long as the temperature is above 70F. At night, it will need to sleep either close to her under a wing or under her breast.

 

As for the possibility of a broody accepting older chicks, I had one last summer who happily adopted three six-week old chicks and nurtured them until they were almost four months old.

 

I'm kind of hoping she'll do the same when I get four new EEs come June.

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