Broody hen rejected ducklings

annasophiabee

In the Brooder
Jul 12, 2019
40
25
36
New Hampshire
I have a broody hen who hatch one egg and so I bought her a chick and 3 ducklings. She accepted the chick but the three ducklings she started to attack! Did I do something wrong? I've seen videos of hens raising ducks... Is this rare?
 

centrarchid

Crossing the Road
11 Years
Sep 19, 2009
26,373
17,726
856
Holts Summit, Missouri
I have never had a broody hen adopt ducklings, but aware it can be done. Key details omitted that can promote success or failure. Since chick was accepted, hen was open to imprinting. Failure in this case likely has something to do with either hen not in optimal window for imprinting or ducklings were past the window. How old were the ducklings at the time introduction was attempted?
 

annasophiabee

In the Brooder
Jul 12, 2019
40
25
36
New Hampshire
I have never had a broody hen adopt ducklings, but aware it can be done. Key details omitted that can promote success or failure. Since chick was accepted, hen was open to imprinting. Failure in this case likely has something to do with either hen not in optimal window for imprinting or ducklings were past the window. How old were the ducklings at the time introduction was attempted?
The duckling were a week old. They probably were too big then? The chick is a cornish cross also a week old but much smaller than the duckling.
 

centrarchid

Crossing the Road
11 Years
Sep 19, 2009
26,373
17,726
856
Holts Summit, Missouri
Chick and ducklings past optimal window, but chicks I know can go to at least 2 weeks and be able to bond under right conditions. Ducklings different enough that hen will be last tolerant when imprinting underway. I do not think size if the problem. If you attempt again, then try to make so hen about 21 days into incubation or a little over and chicks / duckling are day of hatch.
 

annasophiabee

In the Brooder
Jul 12, 2019
40
25
36
New Hampshire
Chick and ducklings past optimal window, but chicks I know can go to at least 2 weeks and be able to bond under right conditions. Ducklings different enough that hen will be last tolerant when imprinting underway. I do not think size if the problem. If you attempt again, then try to make so hen about 21 days into incubation or a little over and chicks / duckling are day of hatch.
The thing is the ducklings were rubbing against the broody hen and she was making her happy noises and 30 or so minutes later she started pecking at them. Should I try again at night when she cant see?
 

HENS-and-MARES

Crowing
Apr 6, 2020
587
5,117
351
Where it snows.
I have a hen who accepted some ducklings, but now, 5 weeks later no longer wants them. She still protects her chicks, but she has probably caught on to the fact that they an’t chickens. Probably cuz the ducks are as tall as her while the chicks are at her wing.
 

annasophiabee

In the Brooder
Jul 12, 2019
40
25
36
New Hampshire
I have a hen who accepted some ducklings, but now, 5 weeks later no longer wants them. She still protects her chicks, but she has probably caught on to the fact that they an’t chickens. Probably cuz the ducks are as tall as her while the chicks are at her wing.
I could be wrong but I think if they were are ducklings she would have accepted them. But since she has real chicks to contrast she rejected the ducklings.
 

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