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Introducing New Chicks - Broody Hen?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Asking for my friend...

My friend has three Rhode Island Reds. All are about 2 years old. She has recently (very unsuccessfully) been trying to introduce new chicks into her flock. The three girls have pecked at least two baby chicks to death sad.png they're bullies lol.

Today, she noticed that one of her girls hasn't moved from the nesting box all day. She's thinking she might be broody. She has two buff Orpingtons that are about 2-3 weeks old and she wants to try to introduce them into the flock (and have them actually live this time). In our research we've found that we can possibly introduce new chicks if their is a broody hen by "passing" the chicks off as hers.

The question is, are the buff's too old/too big for her to try and pass them off as the broody hen's babies?

Any help would be appreciated.
post #2 of 8
I recently had a hybrid hen go broody, but only 1 egg hatched and lived. Gave her 2 2 week old silkie chicks, and she accepted them whole knowing that she didn't hatch it.

NEVER PUT CHICKS IN WITH ADULT BIRDS UNTILL THEY ARE FULLY FEATHERED AND NOT TOO SMALL IN COMPARISON TO THE BIRDS IN YOUR FLOCK. I learned that one the hard way, my 6 hybrids at the time murdered 3 of my 6 Cornish X babies. They had most of their feathers, but we're still small and weak, and slow. Chickens are homicidal when there's smaller, weaker birds (chicks)


I think if the chicks still have fuzz on their heads, they could be adopted. Mind you not all hens are up for adopting, and if she's only been broody for a day, she may not be truly broody....

I would give it a shot, but don't get your hopes up.
post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
She's kept her chicks in a smaller, sectioned off run in her larger run. But the two chicks that were killed, got out and they didn't get back in in time sad.png it's all very sad.

Yeah she is going to watch her for the next couple days to see how she acts. Maybe it's just a ploy to get more chicks in there. They're murdeous little devils lol.
post #4 of 8

Yea, I'd keep the broody separate for a few days after introducing her to chicks....

post #5 of 8

2-3 weeks old is likely to be too old of a chick to bond with a broody hen.

Existing birds attacking new birds added is not 'bullying' so much as it is defending the home territory and resources(space, food, water).

 

Read up on integration.....  BYC advanced search>titles only>integration

This is good place to start reading:

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/adding-to-your-flock


Edited by aart - 6/1/16 at 9:52am

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Reply

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Reply
post #6 of 8
May silkies chicks bonded with their new mother at just over 2 weeks, so this isn't true in all cases ^
post #7 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hrairoo View Post

May silkies chicks bonded with their new mother at just over 2 weeks, so this isn't true in all cases ^

Nothing is "true in all cases". When dealing with living animals, there are no absolutes. But GENERALLY 2-3 weeks  is pushing it for trying to graft onto a broody hen. I also think that she needs to set longer than a couple of days before trying to put chicks under her. I know chickens can't count, so she won't know if she's been there for a day or 21 days, but I would think instinctively, she'd know that she should be sitting longer. 

Chickens off and on for 25+ years and still learning.

Reply

Chickens off and on for 25+ years and still learning.

Reply
post #8 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by bobbi-j View Post

Nothing is "true in all cases". When dealing with living animals, there are no absolutes. But GENERALLY 2-3 weeks  is pushing it for trying to graft onto a broody hen. I also think that she needs to set longer than a couple of days before trying to put chicks under her. I know chickens can't count, so she won't know if she's been there for a day or 21 days, but I would think instinctively, she'd know that she should be sitting longer. 

Yea... I like to wait at least a week before I replace eggs for chicks. Some hens are very open to adopt, so they won't are how long they've been broody, or it they've even been broody... you never know if you don't try !
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