Any advice for a broody not accepting grafted chicks?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Sazbaby, Aug 27, 2013.

  1. Sazbaby

    Sazbaby Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 11, 2011
    We've grafted chicks onto broodies many times and never had any trouble. I have a silkie hen who has raised several clutches for us, probably half her own and half grafted, she has been a very protective mother for all of them. She went broody around June 20 and the chicks I was planning on grafting onto her fell through. I just left her be, and as luck had it, she continued to be broody as the date for new chicks was approaching... Yesterday (Aug 26) I picked up chicks that had been incubated for me, (they hatched on Friday and I picked up on Monday) by a breeder, and I put them under her Monday night. They kept falling out of the opening in the side of the crate I use for a nest, and getting out onto the coop floor, so I put them back in the small cardboard box with the silkie so they would be fully enclosed and safe for the night. She seemed fine with them but wasn't doing much clucking to them. This morning she was wanting to come out of the box (it was tall enough that she couldn't manage it on her own) so I cut a hole in the side of the box- she came right out, left the coop to poop and walked around to the house for a drink. Never once calling to the chicks, and the chicks all sat there in the box. I let her get a drink and brought her back to the wire dog kennel where the nesting box is and put her in, but she immediately came back off and wanted to eat. The chicks did start to wander out and she did peck at them a couple times when they were around the food she was eating, they eventually backed off and let her eat. I closed up the hole in the box and put them all back in together when she was done eating and it's fairly quiet. She doesn't seem overly aggressive to them but doesn't seem like she's mothering them. She's always been a good mother in the past, and I figured after so many weeks of brooding she would be totally relieved and thrilled to have chicks, but it just seems like rather than taking the babies she's just broken her broodiness and looking to go back to regular life... Any suggestions on how to "convince" them they are a family? I know I'm grasping at straws, and I will be diligent about making sure the chicks aren't getting hurt, but would REALLY like to work it out and not fire up my brooder for so few chicks... :/ Any words of wisdom? We've just never had grafting fail!!!
     

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