Advice on introducing day old chicks to a broody hen?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by redwa, Jun 29, 2008.

  1. redwa

    redwa Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 9, 2007
    My hen just hatched out three chicks two days ago. Tomorrow we get 4 more from someone else the same age. I was wondering if there is anything I should be aware of when introducing them. She is still sitting on two eggs that I don't think are going to hatch. I have plan B in place (brooding box/heat lamp) in case she doesn't accept them. Any suggestions?
     
  2. lurky

    lurky Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 4, 2007
    Western MA
    It varies from hen to hen. My silkies seem to be willing to raise anything i ask them to from day olds to a pair of month olds i recently purchased. I had a broody Black Australorp whos eggs were no good come hatch day, so i offered her 3 day olds and i think she was going to kill them. I was shocked. So i suggest watching closely to see if yours is going to take them or not. I would plan on spending some time watching even if it looks good at first. You will have to see how it goes and have your plan B ready just in case. What is your broody? Good chance she will think they belong since she has 2.
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2008
  3. ibpboo

    ibpboo Where Chickens Ride Horses

    Jul 9, 2007
    always changing
    Mainly just keep a good watch. I had a hen once that I would give chicks to because she always wanted babies and her eggs were never going to hatch. I was successful a few times at switching the eggs for chicks when she was off the nest. One time I gave her a couple babies and she accepted them right away. I was so excited I jammed to the store and got more for her, but she did not accept the additional ones. They were different color and she knew they were not part of the original ones and started pecking them. I even took them away and tried to put them under her again at night, did not work, she knew! So just watch and rescue if needed. Best of luck!
     
  4. redwa

    redwa Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 9, 2007
    Thanks, Lurky. She is a RR, seems to be a very good, doting mom. I will watch them closely. I heard about introducing them at night but this makes me a bit nervous. I will make sure I have time to stay with them. No problem since chicken watching is one of my favorite activities, especially these little ones.
     
  5. CindyS

    CindyS Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 14, 2008
    Geneseo, Illinois
    I agree with ibpboo, some hens are really fussy. If the chicks are a different color, they may not accept them. If she has not yet left the nest and has checked out each and every one of them, you have a better chance. Also I have had a hen that noticed that the wing feathers were longer on some I tried to give her. although the same color. Those hens are smarter than we think!
     
  6. sara

    sara Title Needed Here

    I would suggest slipping them under her at night. When everyone wakes up she should do fine.

    I personally have never had a problem adding more chicks. My last hen I just took them out during the day, set them in front of her, and she accepted them. I would suggest keeping an eye on her just in case.
     
  7. redwa

    redwa Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 9, 2007
    We got 5 new ones today, same age as the ones she hatched. She has accepted two (buff bantams) but not the others, I think it's because they look too different (polish, sebright). Ironically, she lets them sit under her but will peck them once they leave her. I stayed with them once we introduced them (late afternoon) and did not let her hurt them and everyone seems settled now that it's dark. We'll see what happens tonight. Wish us luck!!!
     
  8. lurky

    lurky Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 4, 2007
    Western MA
    [​IMG] hope it went well
     

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