Broody hen adopting the yellow chicks, but pecks the black chicks..... Advice welcome!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Cowgirl71, Aug 11, 2013.

  1. Cowgirl71

    Cowgirl71 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a broody hen (Buff Orpington/Barred Rock cross) that hatched out 2 Buff Orpington chicks Monday (Aug. 5th). Because of the poor hatch rate, I quickly ordered some chicks with the hope that she'd adopt and raise them. I ordered 6 Barred Rocks, 5 Black Australorps, and 5 Buff Orpingtons. Later that same day I realized that I should of probably only ordered reddish/yellowish chicks, but it was too late to change the order by then, the chicks were already in the mail.

    They arrived yesterday morning. I put them in a brooder with a heat lamp, food, and warm sugar water. Then slipped them under her that night, as I read to do. I was ready early this morning to intervene if need be, but everything went great. Momma hen was clucking away, happy with her large family. She definitely did notice the black chicks, kinda gave them funny looks, but didn't seem to mother them any less than the 7 buff chicks. I watched for about 20 minutes and everything looked good. I checked them again a couple hours later, still good. Then when I went to check them again around noon, she and the 7 buff chicks were in the center with the food and water, and the 11 black chicks were all huddled in the far end of their enclosure. Sure enough, when I guided them back to the group she pecked them. Very gently, but definitely a peck, and one that sent them running.

    Anybody have any ideas or suggestions? I can always raise them myself but was really wanting them to be raised by a hen so that they could join the big flock much sooner.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2013
  2. Cowgirl71

    Cowgirl71 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Anybody??
     
  3. Cowgirl71

    Cowgirl71 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 5, 2010
    Missouri Ozarks
    UPDATE: Throughout the day I went out and made sure the black chicks were getting enough to eat/drink. It's almost dark now, and it's very dark in their brooder area without a light, and so I was able to tuck everyone under her for warmth for the night while she just clucked away, very happy with her large family once again. Sometimes a black chick popped out from under her, and apparently it was dark enough she couldn't tell, and so she'd just cluck to it. This is good, I want the chicks to bond with her some, rather than always being terrified of her.

    Currently, my plan is to keep up this routine for 2-3 days and see what happens. I have had a lot of success getting cows to accept foster calves, though I do realize this is kinda different, LOL. This routine I want to try is basically a modified chicken-version of what I do with the cows and calves, I'm hoping it will work!

    ETA: When she does peck them, it's not very hard. She isn't trying to hurt them, just run them off, away from "her" chicks. If she starts being real mean to the black chicks I'll remove her or them for the chicks' safety.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2013

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