Broody 'Grafting' Help, "What did I just do"?

BeanHen

In the Brooder
5 Years
May 28, 2014
92
6
31
Hey all,

I've had a Blue Laced Red Wyandotte, Pickle, who's been broody (first time) for little over a week now. Today, we drove an hour to get two four-day-old chicks to put under her (a Welsummer and a BO).

I just 'grafted' the two chicks to her -as it's dark outside. I put them in front of her to see if she'd pull them under her, and she pecked at them. Then, I slipped them underneath her. She growled, but made no move to stop me and the chicks stayed under her (they're under her back leg). The chicks peep if I move her, so they don't seem to be in trouble...

I just had a few questions:

- Would she have pulled them under her if she wanted to accept them? (She's in the night-trance, so she kind of pecks at everything near her face because she can't see very well...)
- Is there chance of the chicks suffocating down there? Will they move around of their own accord?
- How often should I check the momma and babies tonight? (Every half-hour or so?)
- Will things get better by the morning?
- Did I do the right thing?


Thanks!
Hope everything turns out alright!!
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Last edited:

JD123

Chirping
Apr 30, 2014
68
2
86
Hi! I just did the same thing, only our chick arrived by accident. My 1st graders class did the 3 chicken eggs from the farmer project. The chicks hatched yesterday afternoon and one was not at all happy, it was peeping really loud and the other two chicks were pecking at it. I told the teacher I could bring it home for the weekend. My plan was to get it through the weekend in a box inside and bring it back on monday. Problem was the poor thing was so stressed out being alone I was certain it would die of stress.... so under my broody it went and so far so good!

My question is this... Right now mamma and baby are in the coop with my 5 other chickens. Other then being annoyed that she is sitting in the favored nesting box the other chickens do not seem to care that the chick is there. My concern is as the chick grows and starts moving about will it become a target? Any advice would be very much appreciated!

I have no idea if the chick is staying, something is telling me it will since it has now been exposed to another flock, not so sure the farmer will want it back.

Thank you!
 

RedheadinWA

In the Brooder
May 31, 2015
14
0
22
Spokane, WA
How did this turn out for you? One of my barred rock just went broody & im tempted to get a chick to place with her, but the only chicks around right now are from the pet store & that scares me since my flock is super healthy.
I'm also really new to chickens & not sure what to do after grafting, I know the chick wouldn't be able to get up in my nest box with her & how do I feed it?
Maybe I'm over thinking it?
 

JD123

Chirping
Apr 30, 2014
68
2
86
Well, my first chick had to go back to my daughters class. Mama hen was devastated so I got her some new chicks about 4 weeks ago. All is going great! She took to them right away. I even introduced them to her during the day. Mama looked confused but she was so happy to have babies she took to them right away. I don't think she cared where they came from!

If your nest box is to high for babies, put one on the floor of the coop so they can get in and out with mama. It can even be a cardboard box.

As far as feeding, mine free range most of the day so they feed themselves while out and about with mama. When they were really young I put chick feed in a large mason jar tipped on its side, this way the babies could eat it but the hens could not. I put it on the ground during the day and back in the coop at night. I also made sure they had their own water so they would not have to drink from the big waterer and possibly drown. I put their water in and out of the coop as well. I still give them chick feed but I am not sure how much of it they eat.

If you are going to graft try to get chicks 7 days or younger, it works better that way.

Also, make sure you have plenty of room as mama hen might get protective of the babies. If there is not enough room for the other hens to steer clear of the little ones you may have problems. My other hens could really care less when the babies showed up, I was really grateful for that! They will put the babies in their place from time to time but otherwise all went well.

My chicks, since they free range with their mom, are wild little things. They run like crazy when we get near them and peep like mad when we pick them up. My other hens do not mind being held because we handled them more as babies. If you are going to free range them make sure you take the time to handle them a lot when they are little enough to catch.

Good luck!!!

Also, watching a mama hen with new babies is one of the sweetest things you will ever see.
 

RedheadinWA

In the Brooder
May 31, 2015
14
0
22
Spokane, WA
Thank you for the info, I feel a little more confident now. If she is still broody next weekend I'll attempt to graft on a chick or 2.
Right now I have her separated with plastic eggs in a dog crate.. We will see how it goes.
 

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