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Broody bantam 'almost' adopting chicks

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
I have a broody Pekin bantam who successfully adopted chicks last year after a failed hatch. She has been sitting on eggs for two weeks, which were clear when I candled them. So, I bought four cream created legbar chicks at 2 days old and introduced them at night and all seemed fine. She was on dummy eggs which I left. The next day the chicks were fine, and the broody was talking to chicks, but when they came out to feed she growled and pecks at them - not so hard that it seems like she wants to harm them though. She leaves them alone if they are not too 'in her face'. I kept the light levels low which improved matters and removed the eggs. I was able to leave the chicks with her, but had to tuck them under at night time, which she was fine with. They were still OK this morning and she seems to call them for food, which they respond to, but then she pecks at them again - mixed messages or what? Today is sunny so I have put her and the babies in a run partially covered with plastic attached to a house. She hasn't flown at them or anything, but still the odd peck. When I last looked mother and babies were in a corner touching each other with no issues. Do you think she is accepting them, is there anything else I can do, or is it time to give up?
post #2 of 5

Ideally, when trying to "sneak in" chicks, I'd suggest doing so around the time the eggs would normally hatch (about three weeks in).  How is she doing with them now?

 

Since it's the weekend, you're probably able to monitor them pretty closely.  As long as she's not pecking them hard, I'd probably give it until tomorrow before deciding on whether it's a success or not.  But I would keep a close eye on them...

 

Low light was a good idea - that probably helps.

Caretaker of a lovely mixed flock including: australorp, plymouth rocks, wyandotte, d'uccles, silkies, EEs, andalusian, and a few seramas, plus a golden retriever, great dane, and three cats.  I always swore that I wouldn't succumb to chicken math.  I lied.
 

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Caretaker of a lovely mixed flock including: australorp, plymouth rocks, wyandotte, d'uccles, silkies, EEs, andalusian, and a few seramas, plus a golden retriever, great dane, and three cats.  I always swore that I wouldn't succumb to chicken math.  I lied.
 

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post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
Thank you very much for your reply. Towards the end of the day the broody was calling them to eat and even dropping pieces to attract them. The chicks got all excited and came to eat, she allowed them to for a moment or two, then gave a quick peck. The poor chick was really disappointed! This evening I was expecting to have to pop the babies under her again, but all had gone into the house and were close together, touching but the chicks were not under her. I think they will sneak under if they get cold so didn't interfere. It's such a shame as it is very nearly OK! I should think the chicks will grow up with emotional problems. I will monitor tomorrow as you suggest and see how it goes. Thanks again.
post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 
Great news! Yesterday morning the broody was in proper mothering mode, calling chicks to eat with no pecking at them (although chicks a little concerned that she would). By afternoon she had them all tucked up under her and took them to bed on her own. I think the broody must have still been in sitting mode previously. Also, in future I will use chicks which are newly hatched so that they are happy to stay under the broody while she gets over the sitting on eggs idea.
post #5 of 5

Yayyy!!  Glad it worked out for you (and for them)!

Caretaker of a lovely mixed flock including: australorp, plymouth rocks, wyandotte, d'uccles, silkies, EEs, andalusian, and a few seramas, plus a golden retriever, great dane, and three cats.  I always swore that I wouldn't succumb to chicken math.  I lied.
 

Reply

Caretaker of a lovely mixed flock including: australorp, plymouth rocks, wyandotte, d'uccles, silkies, EEs, andalusian, and a few seramas, plus a golden retriever, great dane, and three cats.  I always swore that I wouldn't succumb to chicken math.  I lied.
 

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