Broody Hen Adoption of Chicks

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by EdnaAndEdith, Apr 20, 2018.

  1. EdnaAndEdith

    EdnaAndEdith Chirping

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    Mar 31, 2016
    Hello everyone,
    We have a Cochin hen who has consistently been brooding every other month since she raised her first chick (and only chick). She was a fantastic mother but I didn’t want her to hatch anymore eggs for fear of getting another roo. So this time I bought her three pullet chicks from the feed store. The timing was perfect and I got them the day they arrived. I know everyone says to introduce them at night but I was terrified she would kill them by morning. So in the evening while it was dusk we introduced them (first at my co workers suggestion by setting one chick next to her and that didn’t go well she pecked it several times and neither one seemed happy with the arrangement) so we set up the three babies with a heat lamp and were about to give up when I thought to try to sneak them in from behind which I did with all three. I exchanged each baby with an egg in one smooth motion. Mom did settle down but she seemed very agitated the whole time and even after I left for awhile and came back she was still agitated. One chick wondered out to the food dish and she pecked it again so I did the same motion tucking her back under mama hen and mom again settled down. Everything I’ve read seems like you pretty much know right away if it’s going to work. But my hen keeps shrieking, growling, and fluffing up like a broody but isn’t cooing to the babies like everyone says and like she did before. As of right now, 9pm, she is still sitting on all three babies. I’m just wondering if it is normal that she is so upset still and not talking to them the way she did with her own self hatched egg. Does this mean she won’t accept them? I’ve never done an adoption but it seems like most people say the cooing indicates success. What happens when they don’t coo?
     
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  2. abcn123s

    abcn123s Songster

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    .. following as I’m gonna try this scenario on Sunday...
     
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  3. sawilliams

    sawilliams Songster

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    I did it last year with 6 feed store chicks and 1 mama hatchling. She wasn't happy that night but by morning they where one big happy family. If your not willing to risk it out then in a brooder and try again tomorrow. There where a lost of risks, me leaving 6 over night. But you can't force her either she has to decide to.
     
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  4. EdnaAndEdith

    EdnaAndEdith Chirping

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    Mar 31, 2016
    I’m going to get up early tomorrow to check on them. For now I’m glad they are all quiet and warm under her. I just hope she does okay after tonight and doesn’t keep pecking the poor things! I tried to stop her and none injured so far but just hope it stays that way!
     
  5. abcn123s

    abcn123s Songster

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    I would definitely check on them at first light as everyone is getting up and around.
     
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  6. EdnaAndEdith

    EdnaAndEdith Chirping

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    Mar 31, 2016
    Update: this morning Addy (mama) was still sitting on all three chicks when I went out to check on them. I lifted her wings and saw two chicks alive and well and could hear the third contentedly chirping away. One of the chicks came out in the cold to eat and drink some. The independent little brat ignored mom’s offers of food and continued to eat on her own (totally different from Addys first baby who wouldn’t eat a single thing unless mom handed it to him). Addy was nice and didn’t peck at her. She tried to tell the baby to get back under her and the little brat ignored her again. Addy was making mom noises and seemed happy. The little chick even pecked her face and eye a couple of times without any reprocussion. I think mom has accepted them. The chick started yelling that it was cold but wouldn’t go under her on her own and Addy didn’t try to shoo her in just clucked and lifted her wing expecting the little one to know what to do. After awhile of waiting to see if she would do it on her own I caved in and gently popped her back under where mom and baby settled in again. Now I think the babies need to accept the mom because I think mom is okay with things. Will keep you posted.
     
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  7. chickens really

    chickens really Crazy Call Duck Momma

    Yes, your dealing with Chicks that didn't imprint to Momma. They imprinted to humans..Best wishes.
     
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  8. EdnaAndEdith

    EdnaAndEdith Chirping

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    Mar 31, 2016
    After chicks imprint to humans can they still accept a hen? They are very young. They still have that thing on the ends of their beaks that helps them get out of the shell. I just got them yesterday so I assume they are only a day or two old.
     
    chickens really likes this.
  9. chickens really

    chickens really Crazy Call Duck Momma

    They imprint to the first thing they see...Possibly they won't take to the Hen?..
     
  10. EdnaAndEdith

    EdnaAndEdith Chirping

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    Well no offense or anything but I hope you’re wrong. :p I will be getting home in a couple of hours and am really curious to see what has happened. Hopefully they all got the hang of it.
     
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