Broody hen not accepting baby chicks

schatzi011

Chirping
Jun 9, 2018
29
51
76
West Hills, CA
One of my hens has been broody for about three weeks now. She's stopped laying and just sits on her eggs nearly all day (except a quick run to get food and water). I heard that you can put baby chicks under her. I bought three and tried to put one under her this morning, and she was not happy. She immediately began pecking it pretty aggressively. I pulled the chick back out and faced the hen away and tried again. Then the hen was fine for a few minutes, till the chick made a noise, then she stood up, looked for the chick and started pecking it again.

So now I have the 3 chicks in a cardboard box with a hot water bottle. I was planning on trying again tonight cause I heard they are asleep and she might accept them if I put them under her at night. Any other tips? Another thought was maybe breaking open one of the eggs, and putting the chick partially in the egg to make it seem like it is hatching. Would this work?
 
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50-45-1

Free Ranging
13 Years
Feb 25, 2008
2,633
8,379
626
Northern Michigan (tip of the little finger area)
My Coop
My Coop
No need to watch her all night. If your coop is dark, she will not move until morning light.
I always add chicks after darkness.
are the eggs under her hatchable or not?
If so, its best to add chicks soon after her eggs hatch and she already has chicks.
It may be to late for this if the chicks you purchased have to wait a few days. This process works best with day old chicks.
If you leave the eggs she will not budge from the nest in hopes to hatch them and after you give her the feed store chicks, they must be cared for by her by getting off the nest and taking them to eat and drink.
If the eggs under her are not fertle, add the chicks and remove all the eggs, she will think her eggs have hatched.
None of my shipped hatching eggs hatched this spring, so i baught 6 feed store chicks and used this method and all is well.
Good luck!
20200503_125323.jpg
 

schatzi011

Chirping
Jun 9, 2018
29
51
76
West Hills, CA
No need to watch her all night. If your coop is dark, she will not move until morning light.
I always add chicks after darkness.
are the eggs under her hatchable or not?
If so, its best to add chicks soon after her eggs hatch and she already has chicks.
It may be to late for this if the chicks you purchased have to wait a few days. This process works best with day old chicks.
If you leave the eggs she will not budge from the nest in hopes to hatch them and after you give her the feed store chicks, they must be cared for by her by getting off the nest and taking them to eat and drink.
If the eggs under her are not fertle, add the chicks and remove all the eggs, she will think her eggs have hatched.
None of my shipped hatching eggs hatched this spring, so i baught 6 feed store chicks and used this method and all is well.
Good luck!
View attachment 2179989
The eggs under her are fake and some real ones, but none are hatchable. I have a couple ceramic eggs in there, and the other hens come in and lay some real eggs every day. I don't think this setup is ideal. I tried moving the hen to a crate and moved the eggs and all her bedding, but she freaked out and kept trying to get back to the nest box. After 5 hours, I finally let her back out. So I'm hoping that she can protect the baby chicks against the other hens.
 

Peppercorngal

Crowing
Feb 5, 2018
2,586
5,937
371
Feather Falls, CA
I'm sorry to say I don't hold a lot of hope for your hen accepting the chicks. If I were you I'd wait until 5am (still dark, but an hour before sunrise). Remove all eggs and place the chicks under her. Sit in a chair and watch and wait. She will either react like she did before, by pecking them and not wanting them, or thinking her eggs hatched and accept them. I'd sit there until it's quite clear which it is. I'd leave them for a day at least (if she accepts them) and then I'd move the hen and chicks to a nest on the floor or ground in a little more private spot if possible. At that time she will have bonded with the chicks and will not leave them. Usually the other hens will not pay any attention to the chicks, or try to hurt them. They are little and pose no threat at all. I had a very similar situation but my broody would not accept the chicks. Now I have a brooder with 9 chicks! Good luck!!!!! :hugs

incubator chicks 6 days old.jpg
 

Chickassan

Wattle Fondler
May 23, 2017
14,849
74,198
1,297
Greenville S.C, formerly Noneya U.S.A
Iv'e always prepared the broody a little to the sensation of movement underneath her before introducing chicks but it is pretty much an all night job.
I sneak in.after dark and lightly move my hand under her trying to mimic a chick best I can.
I do this for at least a few minuites every three hours, and at 5.A.M or 5:30 I slide the chicks under and remove eggs doing my sad chick impression the entire time.
This helps new broodies the most, it almost seems like they need to be triggered sometimes.
I figure it happens during a natural hatch when the chicks get in position to pip and zip, she had to feel a ton of movement.
She misses out when you slip them under with no hatching and that effects some but not all hens.
Worth a shot, right? :)
 

schatzi011

Chirping
Jun 9, 2018
29
51
76
West Hills, CA
The coop is about 18" off the ground, with a ramp to the coop. I don't think that fall (onto plants/dirt) will kill the babies if they fall off the side of the ramp.
 

NatJ

Free Ranging
Mar 20, 2017
5,947
11,284
596
USA
The one time I gave chicks to a hen with infertile eggs, I put them under her in the evening right after dark. I lifted the hen a little, removed the eggs, then sat her down and started tucking chicks under the back end of her.

I thought she would have all night to get used to them wiggling and peeping, before being able to see them in the morning.

It worked for me--but since it's the only way I tried, I do not know how many other methods might have also worked. Maybe I just had a tolerant hen.
 

centrarchid

Crossing the Road
11 Years
Sep 19, 2009
26,373
17,725
856
Holts Summit, Missouri
It may take placing the chicks under hen multiple nights. I can force adoption by keeping chicks very close to hen, but where she can NOT harm them for a day or two. Chicks ideally less than a week old and better yet if only a day or so. Hen needs to be at least 18 days into incubation for reliable imprinting. Keep chicks warm and dry during imprinting process.
 
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MANNA-PRO

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