Broody hen- can i give her chicks ???

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by bridgetteanne, Sep 8, 2011.

  1. bridgetteanne

    bridgetteanne Out Of The Brooder

    48
    0
    32
    Apr 6, 2011
    Hi there all- i have a broody hen right now. we have an opportunity to get some chicks. my question is, will she take to them and take care of them???? i know its getting cold out and its not the best time for chicks. If i did not have a broody hen I would not even think about it. Im very new to chickens, so any wisdom would be very helpful. I really don't want to kill any chicks. Also, if the broody hen will take them she will protect them from the other chickens?? i have 10 hens and 1 roster. thanks for the help.
     
  2. kingdr85

    kingdr85 Chillin' With My Peeps

    243
    2
    131
    May 7, 2008
    Madison-Columbus WI
    Yes YES YES - i have been very succesful at giving my hens chicks. I always wait at least 21 days of broodyness and then I just buy 1 days old chicks and give it to them at night. As soon as they hear the peeps they start shifting thinking the peeps are under them. I've done it twice with great success...just do it at night and wait at least 21 days!
     
  3. jennh

    jennh Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 21, 2007
    Lititz
    That's a very good question. How long has she been broody? Maybe you could leave some eggs under her for a couple of days before you introduce chicks. I DO know if you introduce chicks, you should do it at night. Chickens can't count, so I don't know if she would accept them or not. If she accepts them, I don't think you'd have to worry about your other hens. At least mine do a very good job of protecting their chicks!

    JMHO, not an expert here. Maybe someone else can give their opinion?
     
  4. bridgetteanne

    bridgetteanne Out Of The Brooder

    48
    0
    32
    Apr 6, 2011
    Quote:she has been broody for about 7 or 8 days! If i take the chicks i have to get them tomorrow. do you thinks thats going to be to soon???
     
  5. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

    7,544
    172
    316
    Aug 12, 2009
    BuCo, KS
    My Coop
    Honestly, yes, that is a bit soon. Although chickens can't count so don't know exactly when 21 days have passed, they have enough sense of the passing of time, that 7-8 days broody isn't long enough to fool her that they are her chicks. All is not lost though. I once had someone come and buy some 2 1/2 week old chicks from me to put under a broody. I was dubious it would work since at that age they had never had a mother and were also big enough I thought the broody hen wouldn't be fooled. However the woman insisted on trying, so took them home, waited until night fell, and then put the chicks under her hen. Next morning Mama Hen was proud as punch of her new brood and happily paraded them around the yard. The chicks meanwhile, took to having a mother like they'd never been without one. So perhaps you could get the chicks tomorrow and keep them in a brooder for 10 days or so and then give them to her AT NIGHT, and see if she will accept them?

    As for your other question, Mama will try to protect them from the other chickens. I've seen lots of stories on here of chicks being killed by other flock members though, so you want to be careful. I have a Mama Hen right now whose chicks are 2 1/2 weeks old. I had her segregated in a broody coop for the duration of her sitting, and for the first two weeks after the chicks hatched. The flock could see and hear them and vice versa, but that was all. Earlier this week I started letting them out for supervised time out of the broody coop, and Mama Hen is doing great at keeping them safe. One thing I have noticed is that if a pullet who is lower in the pecking order than Mama gets too close, she will attack and rip their feathers out, screaming at them to stay away from her babies. But if a hen who is higher in the pecking order than Mama comes close, she doesn't even react. Fortunately, the older hens have had no interest in killing her chicks, and in fact seem very tolerant of the little ones.
     
  6. bridgetteanne

    bridgetteanne Out Of The Brooder

    48
    0
    32
    Apr 6, 2011
    Quote:i have a place for them, but its in the same coop as mama and the others. i do not have a light or anything. i don'

    t have anywhere else to put them for the 10 days. hummmmmm I'm up in the air about this. i have never dose this before so there is a lot i don't know. 1. will mama feed them or do i need to get them there own food?. 2. will mama keep them warm or do i need to get them a light? 3. do i take the eggs out from under her before putting the chicks there. ( she dose not like that at all, if we try to move her) so you see there is a part of me that thinks I'm just not ready for this and need to do a little more planing. then there is another part of me that thinks what the heck lets give it a try.
     
  7. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

    7,544
    172
    316
    Aug 12, 2009
    BuCo, KS
    My Coop
    Quote:You will need to supply them with feed. What I do when I have mixed ages is to feed a grower/developer type formula to all of them. This way the chicks can eat the same food Mama eats. Also, you will want to put out a chick sized waterer so the chicks don't drown in an adult waterer. (Mama will be able to drink out of the chick sized waterer until they are bigger).

    Quote:That is the beauty of the broody - she will keep them warm under her so no heat lamps are necessary. The other nice thing is that the chicks get the day/night cycle from day 1, unlike brooder raised chicks who have a heat lamp on through the night so don't have dark nights until they're a few weeks old.

    Quote:Yes, I would substitute the chicks for the eggs.
     
  8. 2hot2chicken

    2hot2chicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    542
    4
    111
    Jul 15, 2011
    Beaverton
    If you do decide to go ahead with this I just thought I would throw out there that I have given my broody silkie hen chicks after as few as 8 days broody and she accepted them just fine. I did put her in a small rabbit cage on the ground with them and a container of chick food and water however. And then I just stuck the lil fuzzys under her. The chicks found the food and water no problem, they were between 4-7 days old when they went in the coop with her after hatching in an incubator from a breeder.

    I am not saying every hen will take to this and you may or may not want to try it???

    I did it because my coop was very hot especially her sitting in the nest box panting. I had no way to point a fan in her direction to help cool her down and with her not getting up to drink i was very worried about heat stroke which silkies seem to be more prone to I had heard. I tried to break her and threw her out of the coop even 1 day and locked the chicken door shut so she couldnt get back inside. Well it was 90+ out and all she did was drink water eat for a min then proceed to pace in front of the chicken door wanting back inside, panting franticly and stressing herself out........ I felt for her health it was the best thing to do was get her some chicks since I do not have a rooster and I didn't want her sitting on the nest of eggs for 21 days.

    I was also stuck because I have limited room for any more chickens and I did not want to raise some chicks I was going to have try to sell again in a few weeks/months as I will be layed up with having my own baby and surgery. I decided if I was doing this I was not going to just run down and buy a chick from anywhere I wanted splash silkies in the future so I figured I would give it a shot and started searching for specificly that..... Never expected to find them in just 3 days and locally from a breeder at that!!!! So I took what I could get....

    After a few days in the rabbit cage on the floor with the chicks she has figured out that is where she has to be with them and I am no longer using the rabbit cage and she is raiasing them in my coop now with the rest of my girls. I do let the adult hens out to free range during the day and keep her and babies in the run but this is only beacuse I have a chainlink fenced yard and the chicks could walk right through and I would worry about someone walking by or a dog or cat from outside getting them, and they cannot get out of my run so they are secure. My big girls do usually want to go back into the run about 7pmish and they are all together until about9pm when they go to bed. And I have been leaving the chicken door open so they can go out into their run when they wake up and so they are together in the morning unitl about 10-11am when I finally waddle out to let them out to the yard. Mama protects them very well and after some curriousity at first from the big girls they now mainly ignore the chicks. This is not alwayas the case but it has been mine.
    Hope this helps you and good luck whatever you decide.

    Please remember though if you do not feel ready to take on more lives do not do it. If the hen rejects them and you end up having to raise them then make sure this is something you would be comfertable with doing. Also make sure you are going to be ready to either keep them as adults or have a plan to sell them later on..... If you are not willing or capable to raise them or you do not want to keep them, then why take them on for the sake of having chicks???? Your broody will eventually become unbroody and as long as its not posing her any health risks you could just leave her be.......

    Just my experience and opinion. [​IMG]
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by