Went out to count heads tonight and was missing a chick! After much searching and pulling hens out of nests, disrupting the whole group I found her under "momma's" twin in the next nest! Much chaos ensued but finally got everyone settled then twin hen climbed in on top of momma and babies. Pulled her out and put her in her own next and stuck the baby she had swiped back under her. They both settled quite contentedly. Have you ever heard of such a thing? These are 3 week old chicks even.
That is cool that the chick found a good adoptive mama...
Last winter we had a hen go broody, it was sub zero temps so we put her in a smaller area of the coop where there was only one rooster and one other hen which allowed her to be bothered much less. The non-broody hen was a 3 year old (named Brownie) who had never brooded and had basically always ignored other broody hens and chicks.
Within a couple of days of the broody hatching her chicks we noticed Brownie hanging around them, a lot...then we saw Brownie feeding the chicks, then actively chook, chooking them for food. We knew she was hooked when we caught her with one chick on her back and one under her chest! Brownie ended up fully mothering the chicks and actively protecting them and she kept mothering them for 3 or 4 weeks after their real broody quit and went back to roost with the flock.
This year, at 4 years old, Brownie went broody herself and sat and hatched 12 chicks, which she is happily mothering. So never be surprised at odd flock dynamics, weird things can always happen.
Edited by fisherlady - 4/9/16 at 8:43pm