This is my Blue Rock that I bought from Nava on this board. She was on golf balls when I picked her up. I threw some mailed eggs under her, and later added more chicks from mailed eggs. She is currently mothering 9 Blue Andalusians, 2 Cochins, 1 Welsummer, 1 Salmon Faverolle, 3 Lakenvelder and 3 Ameraucana. She is a young mother, but she is awesome!
Me too! I had a broody BO, so I bought fertilized SLW eggs from down the street. 3 weeks later she hatched out all 5, then I grafted on 4 day-old Delawares & Lt. Brahmas (and I didn't even wait until night-- I just kind of pushed them under her while she was out foraging with her chicks. She pecked them a little and looked confused, then promptly adopted them). She is doing great-- a perfect mama, even though she's only seven months old and a first-timer.
Our 2nd BO is now sitting on bought fertile eggs-- I just hope she's as great of a mama as Ruby is.
The broody hen will hatch pretty well anything which is placed under her. She will hatch her own, her best hen friend, her worst hen enemy and any other eggs you have provided her with.
It is very rare for my hens to hatch their own eggs. If I do give them our own eggs to hatch it will be a mix from any of the hens.
The great thing is, even when they hatch and bear no resemblance to her and are in a number of shapes and sizes, she still loves them all.
Yes I always give my chicks starter/crumb. Some folk only give starter to momma as well, but I give both chick crumb and adult food and have never had a problem. Momma hen will break up foods to chick-sized pieces quite often,
I'm really glad to read this thread. I have been thinking ahead a year and would love to hatch chicks next spring, but I don't want the expense or worry of an incubator. I was wondering if a broody would hatch purchased eggs. Good to know this is a possibility. Thanks!
Quote:I did, but the babies kept escaping their enclosure so today (they are 8 days old) I let them all out... nervously watching. My 2 20-week BRs came right over and pecked the babies. Mama Ruby went NUTS! After a thorough scolding the BR sisters decided to keep their distance. My "top hen" Rose is a BO, and she never even tried to peck them. She came over, looked at them, then went about her business. I don't know of that's just because she is a BO or because she tried to go broody lately and is still feeling motherly. When my next hen hatches her chicks I think I'll do the same thing-- pen them for about a week. The chicks are pretty strong and agile after that. I just need to figure out how to make a pen the chicks can't escape from!
Mine roam my backyard. She defends them from everything, the other hens, the other older chicks, our cat, and our dog. They don't mess with her or the chicks. I can hear on chirping right now outside my window. I have two little ones that are a bit slower than the rest, but she always looks out for them!