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Putting chicks under a broody hen

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

Is this possible?  I have eight bantam chicks coming next week, and a broody silkie.  Is is possible to let her set a few eggs until they get here and then switch them?  Eight chicks is probably too many for a silkie?

If it isn't an Arabian it's just a horse.
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If it isn't an Arabian it's just a horse.
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post #2 of 16

yep, I've slipped week old chicks under a broody, and she did beautifully. I don't know about the number of chicks...it really depends on the broody...how long has the silky been broody...if not long enough she may not accept them...

Permitted wildlife rehabber, specializing in the North American Bobcat

 

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Permitted wildlife rehabber, specializing in the North American Bobcat

 

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post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 

She's been trying for less than a week.  I've got about 10 days before the chicks arrive.  What should I do to prepare her?

If it isn't an Arabian it's just a horse.
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If it isn't an Arabian it's just a horse.
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post #4 of 16

not alot...mine actually was born out of an OEG that would NOT give up on being broody...45 days later, I still couldn't break her, and she was looking really thin and pale. Lucky for her, my local feed store had babies. I grabbed a few, and stuck her in a dog crate, and stuck them under her. She didn't like them, so I put her back in the nest box, and stuck them under her again, and BAM she raised a bantam sultan and three easter eggers like they were her very own...well past the time they needed mommy.

Permitted wildlife rehabber, specializing in the North American Bobcat

 

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Permitted wildlife rehabber, specializing in the North American Bobcat

 

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post #5 of 16

Wait until dark and slip one under her with a flashlight. Go back an hour later and see how things are progressing. If all looks well and they are talking to one another, add a chick.   I've spaced mine over two days to make sure all was well. I think the big thing is not only the hen accepting the chicks,but the chicks accepting the guidance of the hen so don't let them imprint too heavily on humans or they won't listen to mamahen.

If I had known a few chickens would make the man THAT happy....
mom & dad,teaching our rescue BRT Bess all about chickens, EE, Orps and now marans!  The man says we are switching to orps and marans, and they'reHISchickens!
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If I had known a few chickens would make the man THAT happy....
mom & dad,teaching our rescue BRT Bess all about chickens, EE, Orps and now marans!  The man says we are switching to orps and marans, and they'reHISchickens!
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post #6 of 16

I had a broody Wyandotte and I gave her 4, 3 day old chicks. She had been laying on fake eggs for 21 days. I waited until it was dark and took the fake eggs and replaced them with the babies. When the sun came up she had her babies. She took right to them.  I don't think 8 is too much. I don't have silkies but heard they are great mothers. Good luck

post #7 of 16

I did this successfully three times this summer with my Buff Orpington Hens.  All had been sitting 21 days or longer though.  I slipped the chicks under before I went to bed and then sat with the new family for an hour or so starting at first light the next morning to make sure the hens didn't injure the chicks.  In every case my hens initially pecked a little at the babies.  I used my hand when necessary to protect the chicks (my hens are very tame and were not bothered by this).  It is important to have food and water accessible to the babies in the nest box when introducing hatchery chicks.  The broody will continue to sit for a few days (because if she were hatching real eggs, they would hatch over several days).  This is not a problem for newly hatched chicks because of the nutrition provided by the yolk sac, but hatchery babies will have spent their grace period in transit and will need access to food and water.  You will know that the hen has accepted the babies when she starts showing them what to eat.  Good luck!

post #8 of 16

This should work, just be sure to sneak them under her at night. smile

"Nankin Bantam Rooster" by Katherine Plumer
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"Nankin Bantam Rooster" by Katherine Plumer
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post #9 of 16

I gave My broody giant cochin 21 baby lavander orpingtons and she raised every one like they were her own;)

The difference between 'involvement' and 'commitment' is like an eggs-and-ham breakfast: the chicken was 'involved' - the pig was 'committed'.
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The difference between 'involvement' and 'commitment' is like an eggs-and-ham breakfast: the chicken was 'involved' - the pig was 'committed'.
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post #10 of 16
Thread Starter 

Forgive me if I posted this already, I can't find it.

The eight chicks I ordered arrived this morning and are already happy with new mom.  I panicked and switched them this morning because I also got 11 extra chicks and had to put them in the brooder I was going to put the banties in. 

But everyone seems happy, the extras are hopping around and Little Mom is with her new babies.

If it isn't an Arabian it's just a horse.
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If it isn't an Arabian it's just a horse.
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