Broody hen adopting chicks: ARE THEY OK?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by shirauo, Aug 27, 2010.

  1. shirauo

    shirauo Out Of The Brooder

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    We introduced 4 day-old baby chicks to our 3-weeks-broody hen last night without a hitch. They just crawled right under her and she didn't peck them or anything.

    This morning I went out there and the silkie was huddled outside of the nest on the far side of the brooder like she had been rejected- then I heard the desperate cries of a chick being pecked. I took these 2 out and put them under a warming lamp. I'm worried about the other 2 chicks. Will they be ok?

    As they wake-up & start moving is she freaking out and deciding that they are invaders? Should I just bring them in now to be raised with the other chicks?
     
  2. ADozenGirlz

    ADozenGirlz The Chicken Chick[IMG]emojione/assets/png/00ae.png

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    I wouldn't risk it. Just bring them in with the others.
     
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    I would. If you have to brood 2, you might as well brood 4 together. It is no more work and the other two may be in danger. They'll enjoy the extra company in the brooder. I've had great success doing exactly what you did, putting chicks under a broody at night. But sometimes it just doesn't work out. Tough luck.
     
  4. shirauo

    shirauo Out Of The Brooder

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    I have another broody hen- wondering if I should try her tomorrow night.
     
  5. bragabit

    bragabit Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Okay I just added chicks to my broody today. And she excepted all except the grey/blue colored chicks. I dunno??
     
  6. shirauo

    shirauo Out Of The Brooder

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    UPDATE: one more was out in the cold, so we "fired" her. [​IMG] ...but wouldn't you know it? She became CONVINCED that the last chick was _her_ baby and was FREAKING OUT when we tried to remove her from that last baby chick.

    Our other broody (a barred rock who has been broody for 3 weeks or so) was placed in the nest and immediately accepted all 4 chicks after she settled in. She is proving to be a great mama! I'm so proud of her!

    QUESTION about housing mama hens & Baby Chicks together: I know chick starter has too much protein for older birds and that lay ration has too much calcium for the babies & could cause problems. But mama always knocks her food over so that the chicks can eat it-- then she starts pecking at the chick feed. Does anyone have any secrets for keeping the feed separate and having them eat different things? [​IMG]
     
  7. write2caroline

    write2caroline Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Some people use feeders Momma can't access but babies can but I have not been successful. I fed my broody unmedicated chick feed - she wasn't laying anyway.
    Caroline
     
  8. KellyandKatie

    KellyandKatie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    ooo great thread- I was just wondering the same thing about a similar situation
    thanks!
     
  9. Luckytaz

    Luckytaz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You can feed them all starter, medicated or not. It's not a problem, because she won't be laying.
     
  10. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Exactly right. She is not laying so she does not need the calcium. She has not been eating enough while on the nest and probably lost weight. The extra protein in the chick starter will be good for her.
     

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