anyone ever put chicks under a broody hen?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by veronica2368, Apr 28, 2010.

  1. veronica2368

    veronica2368 Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 26, 2007
    newville pa
    Hello everyone,
    I have a broody hen..henny penny, she is about 7 years old...all of her life she has been extremely broody on and off....she is a buff orp...
    well we think it would be great to finally let her hatch some babies!
    I need the particulars about how to go about sneaking some chicks under her.
    We have already sectioned off the coop so she has one side to herself..right now she is in a nest box mounted on the wall. I need to move her to her own side and make her a new nest area. How do I go about moving her so that she does not become un-broody when I put her in her new spot? and if I move her and she stays broody and all is good, what is the procedure to put the chicks under her? the chicks will be from the feed store. i dont want roosters so we arent going to give her any eggs. we dont have any anyway so...its "pullet" chicks.
    also, she is a big many chicks can you put under them? I dont think we want any more than 6 at the most.
    this is nerveracking and i wouldnt normally do this, but poor henny penny has been wanting to be a mamma for years. I have 10 cheikens and she is one of the two original girls I have left. we also have the run fenced off for safety for the chicks too.
    I'm hoping this is an ok idea, please anyone who has done this, give me all the ideas ya got!
    thanks a bunch,
  2. slickchik

    slickchik Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 27, 2008
    Southern California
    I gave one of my broody bantams a baby chick to raise but the key was to get a VERY YOUNG chick... like the same day they arrive at the feed store. It worked like a charm. I just put the baby chick under the hen and she pecked the baby a few times but the chick was too young to realize it should run away. Then they bonded and it was great.

    Tried it again with a slightly older chick, maybe a 1.5 weeks old and it didn't work at all. The chick knew to run away when pecked.
  3. cashdl

    cashdl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 25, 2008
    I did yesterday. I had a hen sitting on eggs and when they would start to hatch she kicked them out so I took them away from her. As they would hatch and fluff out I would introduce each one to her and see what she did. Each time she started clucking to them and would raise up a little so they could climb under her. Right now she has 18 under her and keeps eyeing me for more. It should be fairly easy to tell right off if she is going to accept them or not.

  4. Miss Red

    Miss Red Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 26, 2010
    Trinity, Texas
    In my experience, the best <b>and</b> safest time is to add the chicks at night. The hen is less likely to realize they were not supposed to be there, and will think that they 'hatched' over night. This has been a good method for getting our bator chicks under some free range hens. - My two cents hope it helps!
  5. BlackBart

    BlackBart Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 29, 2009
    I just put a French Black Copper Maran chick under a Bantam cross hen. She is protecting it with her life and limb......[​IMG] Its hard to change the water because she is in ultra defense mode. Her eyes flare and her pupils get big..........look out!
  6. usschicago1

    usschicago1 Suburban Cochins

    Aug 11, 2009
    Taunton, MA
    I have when there very young and always at night
  7. cashdl

    cashdl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 25, 2008
    Quote:I have a hen who is quick as a cobra and twice a mean sitting on some of my araucana eggs. I have to wear gloves to add water, food and clean. I have several eggs due on the same day as hers are and I would like to put the chicks under her as they hatch. She is a definate toss the kids in under cover of darkness, run, check your fingers kind of girl so it should be interresting, but I am going to give it a whirl.

  8. Chickenmaven

    Chickenmaven Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 6, 2009
    I happened to have a hen go broody EXACTLY 3 WEEKS before I was scheduled to pick up day-old chicks at an area hatchery. I put fertile eggs under her, so that her babies & the "imposters" were exactly the same age. She parented over a dozen chicks. I would not try to throw some feed store chicks under a hen that was broody for a few days. Mama hens and their chicks "talk" back & forth in the end stages of incubation. I got to see & hear that first hand, last week. [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] It is special & can't be discounted.
    1 person likes this.
  9. Chickenmaven

    Chickenmaven Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 6, 2009
    Quote:Great story. Not surprised.
  10. Chicnsrthebest

    Chicnsrthebest Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 1, 2008
    I have a question about this: Does the broody hen have to be broody for about 3 weeks before you put the chicks under her? I have a hen that just went broody about a week ago, and I've got some chicks hatching in the incubator now.
    Would it be safe to put the chicks under her, or is the timing not right?

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