Broody hen not accepting her adopted chicks :(

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by LilWiz, Dec 13, 2011.

  1. LilWiz

    LilWiz New Egg

    Dec 13, 2011
    Hi everyone, new to the forum, I tried searching for similar topics but I couldn't find any identical to mine so here goes!

    We bought some chicks last Saturday, which were born that Monday, so they're a bit over a week old. We wanted to put these under our broody Australorp, as she was all alone after her three friends died (one from an unknown sickness and the other two from what we think was infectious laryngotracheitis ) During this time our remaining hen was broody which may have helped her stay healthy. Anyway, we made a "broody box" as we call it, seperate from the normal nesting boxes and we put two fake eggs in it. Our Australorp finally decided to sit on the eggs (she is pretty dumb!) and we were pretty pumped. She was only sitting on the eggs for about 2-3 nights (which I think may have ended up being the problem) before we replaced an egg with a chick, each chick 30mins apart. we did this at around 10pm. She snuggled the chicks under her and we were pretty ecstatic because we were sure it was going to work out.
    At the morning we went out and checked on her and sure enough the chicks were still under her. However she continued to sit on them for about another hour without moving and when the chicks tried to run out of the box to get some crumble and water our hen pecked at them and forced them to sit back down. Eventually the chicks did manage to get out and have some food and water however our hen continued to sit in the box. We've tried lifting her out so she can eat drink and poo but she doesn't like it and goes straight back in. If we remove the box she just sits on the ground. We were worried that the chicks might be getting cold after being alone for about an hour so we tried to nudge them back into the box with our hen but she pecked at them and didn't let them in. After this we took our chicks to a little brooder we made so we could seperate them while we thought of a solution.

    Our hen has a reputation for being big, loud and stupid, as well as lazy. Our chicks will be going back to the shop we bought them from if we can't find a solution. Can any body help???

    Sorry for the essay! I wasn't sure what info to put in or leave out.

    Thank you for reading!
  2. TheSpiceGirls

    TheSpiceGirls Overrun With Chickens

    Oct 6, 2010
    Bay Area, CA
    I've never done this so I'm not an expert here. But I've read that you need to let your broody sit on her eggs for 21 days or 22 before taking away the eggs and tucking baby chicks under her. She needs to let her hormones do their thing and brood before she'll move to the next phase of actually raising chicks.

    So I'd watch her very closely. I'm not sure she's ready to brood these guys and you may have to brood them yourself. Not hard to do but probably not what you were hoping to do.
  3. Ukiah

    Ukiah Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 15, 2011
    Welcome to BYC

    She's not quite ready for the next step yet, she needs to sit longer.

    Let her set for atleast another 17 days or so before putting chicks underneath
    her. She should then be ready for raising chicks.

    Good luck!
  4. LilWiz

    LilWiz New Egg

    Dec 13, 2011
    Thanks guys. I'm assuming that the same chicks will be much too old to put under her if we wait another 20 or so days so we'll need to get some new chicks before trying again.
  5. they'reHISchickens

    they'reHISchickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 31, 2008
    Whether or not this works is very dependent on the individual hen.
    We have done it exactly as you did with a black Orpington and she was a wonderful mom. We have set incubated eggs under a new broody within a week of hatch and had good results. We have also allowed hens to set all their own for 21 days with disaster. And we have had a hatchery RIR go broody and be a successful wonderful mom.
    It all depends upon the hen, and since none of us speak hentalk with much fluency, we all take chances when we mess with their hormones and chicks. Always have a backup plan:)
  6. LilWiz

    LilWiz New Egg

    Dec 13, 2011
    I don't even think our hen can talk "hen"! [​IMG] she's thicker than the average chook!

    When eggs are hatched, our does the mother normally act? is she active immediately or stays on her nest a bit longer? sorry about all these obvious questions... we know very little it seems!!!!
  7. Hunter0704

    Hunter0704 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 8, 2011
    Wentzville, MO
    From the BYC Learning Center

    How To Care For A Chick - First 60 Days:

    Young Chick Brooder - Can be as simple as a sturdy cardboard box or a small animal cage like one you'd use for rabbits.
    Flooring - Pine shavings work best
    Temperature - 90 to 100 deg. for the first week, decrease 5 deg. per week. A 100 watt bulb pointing in one corner (not the whole brooder) works well.
    Food & water - chick crumbles / starter & a chick waterer
    Play time - Play with your chicks when young to get the use to being around people.
    Outside time - Section off an area in your yard where the chicks can explore, scratch, etc. Make sure you can catch them when it's time to come in.
    More details: Raising Chicks
    Chicken Care After First 60 Days, General Chicken Care:

    Chicken Coops - Once feathered out you'll want to move your chickens into a chicken coop! Rule of thumb is about 2-3 square feet per chicken inside the henhouse and 4-5 sq/ft per chicken in an outside run. Keep local predators in mind and make a safe home for your flock!
    Flooring - Pine shavings work best. You can even try the deep litter method for even less maintenance.
    Food & water - Most people go with chicken layer feed / pellets. You can even make a homemade chicken feeder / waterer
    Treats - Vegetables, bread, bugs, chicken scratch (cracked corn, milo, wheat)
    Explore the rest of the site for more details on raising chickens. We suggest these sections:

    How To Pages
    Learning Center
  8. LilWiz

    LilWiz New Egg

    Dec 13, 2011
    Thanks for all that, but my parents don't want to look after the chicks in a brooder for some reason... I've tried convincing them but I think they'll be returned to the store we got them from which is sad because I'm pretty attached to them haha
  9. Ole rooster

    Ole rooster Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 25, 2011
    Milner, Georgia
    Look like the chicks will be laying before the hen is ready to get up. I would say you'll have to get more day old chicks.

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