Yes. I did this last night with a buff orpington that had been broody and sitting on infertile eggs for 2 weeks. I put day-old hatchery chicks under her at night. By early morning she had pecked 2 chicks almost to death (they had to be put down), and the other 3 were huddling in the far side of the coop to stay away from her. This was a terrible, sad experience. I won't do this again unless I try it with a hen who has a proven record of being a good mother.
anyone ever put chicks under a broody hen? - Page 2
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I happened to have a hen go broody EXACTLY 3 WEEKS before I was scheduled to pick up day-old chicks at an area hatchery. I put fertile eggs under her, so that her babies & the "imposters" were exactly the same age. She parented over a dozen chicks. I would not try to throw some feed store chicks under a hen that was broody for a few days. Mama hens and their chicks "talk" back & forth in the end stages of incubation. I got to see & hear that first hand, last week. It is special & can't be discounted.
I have a broody sitting on 5 shipped bantam EE eggs and 7 more in the incubator. Should anything hatch *ha ha* in the incubator, how long do I wait to give it to Mama? While it's still wet? Wait a day? Keep it in the bator overnight? Last time I gave her shipped chicks when hers didnt hatch and it worked out pretty well. 3 out of 6 grew up.
Edited by omilona - 9/26/14 at 3:20pm
This is a late response to your post, but I'm really sorry about the way this turned out. From personal experience, I know that this is heart-breaking and maddening at the same time.
last summer I went to a farm that hatched out chicks. one was blind with no eyes. since I had a broody I offered to take it and give it to my broody. she sat on it and kept it warm, and I would stop by and feed it egg yolk a few times a day. the chick would come out from under the mom at feeding time when it heard me call. on day 6 mom squished it by accident though.
I just tried to introduce some day old chicks to my hen that has been sitting for 19 days. Her eggs are due to hatch any day now. I removed her eggs and put them in an incubator for the final day or so. I did it at night, and tried to replace with chicks. Unfortunately, she killed 2 of the babies before I could get them back out. She wasn't having it at all. Any suggestions as to what I may have done wrong? I tried to be slick about it and not disturb her, but she is very protective of those eggs. Any help would be appreciated.