Broody hen should have a baby


In the Brooder
Jul 2, 2018
Yakima, Washington state
So here is the thing... My 1.5yr old Australorp has been broody for two weeks now. And it's not so much that I want to add to my 5 hen flock, as much as she deserves a result for her effort.
I'm considering slipping under her
*a single,
*day old chick (young as possible)
*at 21days-ish
*at night.

If I do: Advice? Yes I do want to leave her (and her chick) with our tiny flock in my backyard. I'm going for LESS effort. Letting chickens be chickens. No brooders. And equipment. And no additional time and effort.
The thing is, there is loads of info on up UNTIL chicks hatch and takes to momma. Not a lot on AFTER. About flocks co-existing...Etc, etc? I mean, animals did thrived before all our ideas and methods intervened.
I know to:
move them to a split level, with starter crumble and use a chick waterer babies can not drowned in. Possibly with layer pellet feed and a 2nd waterer higher up for momma.
Spread DE, then and now, as well as fresh bedding in a clean/tidy area.

I'll probably fence in a "nursery" to contain hypothetical baby but not block momma or isolate them from flock. My girls free range the (fenced) lawn. And are uber spoiled with produce, and ice cubes on hot days...


Easily distracted by chickens
Premium Feather Member
Jul 23, 2018
NY Southern Tier
My Coop
My Coop
My broody hatched her own chicks but it's the same story if you graft a chick to your broody.
Is she already setting on a couple of fake eggs in a ground nest? If not, move her.
I would have her on no more than 2 eggs.
After you graft the chick, you will want to be out there with her just before dawn to make sure she takes it and doesn't kill it. When you slip the chick under her, remove one of the eggs.
I would switch the entire flock over to Flock Raiser or All Flock crumbles with oyster shell in a separate contain near the feeder.
If mom takes baby, she will feed it. You do not need to do anything other than provide food and a chick safe waterer. I use this:

This "baby bottle" is a useful tool to have. You can use it in a broody breaker crate as well as using it as a baby bottle. I have two of them. They are easy to make.
Mom and chick will enter the flock when mom is ready. She will protect the chick.
Offering a mash of the Flock Raiser helps her pick up clumps of it to drop for the chick to eat.
My broody had her three chicks up on the main roost when they were 15 days old. No one messed with those babies.


Premium Feather Member
13 Years
Dec 11, 2009
Colorado Rockies
It all depends on the hen accepting and bonding with this single chick. Why just one? Two would be much better. After the hen bonds with the chicks, they will look to her for guidance and protection. Usually, this will last until the chicks are around four to six weeks old.

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