Advice for Giving Chicks to a Broody Hen?

SKG1121

Songster
Mar 4, 2012
97
59
126
GA
Hello all,
I have an order in for baby chicks that should arrive any day now. The current flock has been dwindled down to 2 (from the original 4) hens, and one of them has been broody for weeks. This is my first time adding new chickens to an existing flock so I would appreciate some advice.

First, I'm going to try to give the chicks to the broody so she'll "adopt" them, but I'm thinking I should keep them in a brooder for a few days to make sure they're healthy. Would that be alright?

Second, would I need to separate the broody and chicks from my other hen? (remember, there is only one other.) Or would the other girl be unbothered by Broody's babies? They get along well, for the most part, but Broody is picked on sometimes.

Last, our coop set up, which is probably pretty standard, has the coop elevated with a ramp to the run. Should I try and put a shelter down below so the chicks don't have to deal with the ramp, or should I plan for them to stay cooped up until they're ready to go down on their own?

I appreciate any tips! xx
 

thecrumbler

Chirping
Mar 18, 2015
102
11
73
Illinois
Not sure how the community stands on it, but I've adopted chicks to a hen once before - so I couldn't say "sure it'll definitely work!" but personally I had one good experience.
I took my broody hen and put her in a tote (for some reason I thought it wouldn't work as well on her own turf). I released the chicks in there, ready to snatch them out if she spurned them - but she invited them under her immediately and raised them as her own. After a week I put her and chicks in the coop with her sisters and they had to establish pecking order, as is the custom, but mom protected them anyhow.

So, I guess, you can try it, if not, prepare a spot for them until they're older, I suppose. Let us know how it works out! Hope it goes ok!
 

SKG1121

Songster
Mar 4, 2012
97
59
126
GA
Not sure how the community stands on it, but I've adopted chicks to a hen once before - so I couldn't say "sure it'll definitely work!" but personally I had one good experience.
I took my broody hen and put her in a tote (for some reason I thought it wouldn't work as well on her own turf). I released the chicks in there, ready to snatch them out if she spurned them - but she invited them under her immediately and raised them as her own. After a week I put her and chicks in the coop with her sisters and they had to establish pecking order, as is the custom, but mom protected them anyhow.

So, I guess, you can try it, if not, prepare a spot for them until they're older, I suppose. Let us know how it works out! Hope it goes ok!
Thanks for the tips. If I give them to her in the coop with my other chicken, do you think she will pose a threat?
 

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