adding chicks to a hen with chicks?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Teresaann24, Aug 22, 2008.

  1. Teresaann24

    Teresaann24 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 29, 2008
    Eastern, Kentucky
    I was wondering if I could add the chicks my friend is incubating for me under my hen when her chicks hatch they are due to hatch the same day? How should I go by doing this at night? thanks for any info!
  2. sudolph

    sudolph Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 24, 2007
    I think you can do it. The deal is, the setting hen will stay on the nest a day or so after she first starts hearing peeps, which is the way nature allows for the fact that a hatch may take 24 hours. Then she moves the babies out for food and water. Chicks can live up to three days on the yolk they absorb just before hatching, so the mother is in no big rush to get out and feed them. That is why the hatcheries can ship newly hatched chicks.

    All that being the case, you should be able to slip your friend's bator hatched babies under her or near her as her own are hatching. As soon as you see a chick pop its head out from under her, you can start adding adoptees. The sooner the better. If the bator chicks happen to be later than hers and she's out with them, I would wait until night when she is back in the nest and you just stick them under her or put them near. She and they should know what to do, and I don't think she'll even know the difference.

    I hope her nest is at ground level and maybe completely enclosed with some roam room because she will take those babies back into the nest at night unless her instincts are off. I hatched some in a perfect brooder box made of plywood on the nest end and wire on the run end. It is about 8 feet by 2 feet, the box being 2 foot square at one end, opening into the wire end. Of course there is a door to the outside. My hen is a Golden Phoenix, which is small, sweet but flighty bird. Of six eggs she hatched 4. I kept her in the brooder box with food and water for two weeks then moved the whole shooting match to the back yard where my chickens run. It adjoins the chicken house where all roost. I opened the brooder box, giving her a nice ramp for her and babies the go in and out, but she never took them back to the box to go to bed. She went back to the chicken house and up on the roost the first night. Two didn't even make it into the chicken house with her, so we lost those the first night.

    Normally, the hen takes them back to the nest until they are a month old or so. When she goes to bed on the roosts, that means she's finished mothering.

    So, that's probably more than you wanted to know, but there it is. How else can I help?
  3. Teresaann24

    Teresaann24 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 29, 2008
    Eastern, Kentucky
    thanks for the info that helped alot! My hens nest is on the ground in a box i bought at walmart. its placed inside a cage about 4x4 so there is romaing room for when she brings off the babies untill they are so old. Cage is fixed around with small chick wire to keep the babies from getting out and getting lost or somthing getting them. There is a hole in the side i used for collecting eggs and such thats where I was planning on slipping the chicks with her once her others hatched at night.

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