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Switching a hens chicks.

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
My Cochin bantam currently has four, 7 week-old chicks that she hatched herself. I am expecting an order of 15 chicks any day now.
My question is: can I switch the new chicks with Marshmallows chicks? Will she accept the younger ones?

They don't chirp for mama when she is not around but if Marshmallow can hear them she will try to get to them.
It is just so much easier raising chicks with a broody.


Marshmallow and her chicks at 6 weeks old
Edited by Violetsfeathers - 4/20/16 at 8:00pm
post #2 of 5

Chicken broodies don't take to being surrogates as dogs and cats do. Once the chicks hatch under a broody and she's invested six weeks of nurturing them, her hormones have just about run their course, not to mention she's bonded with these chicks and would not necessarily bond with a brand new batch overnight. Even if she didn't kill the new chicks outright, her dissipating hormones wouldn't be sufficient to keep her interested in caring for the chicks.

 

I think you'd be risking disaster by trying this stunt. Please don't.

 

Your best bet for getting a broody to raise the new chicks is to hope one comes into broody hormones around the time the chicks arrive.

post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
The chicks got her this morning!
wee.gif

Marshmallow pecked at two of the new chicks
post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 
Another one of my Cochin hens just went broody, must've been the new chicks peeping. And man is she ever vicious! I will see if she will take some of the chicks tomorrows
post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
Turns out the Cochin gave up on being broody. Even though she sat on the nest all day and was meaner than usual.
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