Brooding Hen Adopting Baby Chicks?


5 Years
Jun 7, 2015
Hi everyone,

This year I decided to allow my two bantam old english game chickens to hatch chickens. I gave each chicken 4 eggs (one started last Tuesday - 9 days, and the other last Wednesday - 8 days). I candled the 9 days one last night and discovered that two eggs were fertile, one had a bloodline and the other was not fertile. Today I went out to check on them and noticed both chickens had a broken egg in their coop. Sadly, it turned out one of the fertile eggs from the first chicken was broken, leaving my with 1 viable egg. As for the second chicken, there was one fertile egg (maybe 2, not sure about the broken one).

Since there are only two eggs left, I moved them both under one chicken.

That said, it kind of sucks only raising two baby chicks, and its a little too late to start the other chicken on another batch of eggs.

My question is: when the two chicks hatch, do you think I could just buy a few day old chicks from the local hatchery and give those to the mama chicken? Will she take them on? Or do you think she would end up ignoring them, leaving me have to keep these new ones separate?
I would say that would depend on your hen. Some probably would accept them especially if you introduced them on hatching day. Other hens might not. Bantams are probably more likely than others to accept other chicks. If it was me I'd try it and watch closely and have a heat lamp handy in case.
X2 the above. When you introduce new chicks, slip them under the hen she's sleeping and less likely to kick up a fuss. Just lift her a little and slip the chicks under her, instinct should take care of the rest. Good luck!

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