Broody hen taking care of incubator chicks

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by laura8700, Oct 7, 2014.

  1. laura8700

    laura8700 In the Brooder

    Sep 10, 2014
    Warrenton va
    We must be gluttons for punishment. We have a 4 week old little one that we hatched and it is in with some gunieas that we aquired from someone local. They are all great.
    We have about 10 eggs in incubator that are pipping today and we have a broody hen that is sitting on 3 eggs that are about a week away from hatching. What are the chances of mrs broody taking over care of the incubator babies? If there is a chance how do I go about introducing them?
    What a mess. Lol. I have plenty of space to keep them all seperate if the hen won't take them but it would make it easier if she adopted them. Haha
  2. HEChicken

    HEChicken Crowing

    Aug 12, 2009
    BuCo, KS
    My Coop
    The hen will certainly adopt the incubator chicks - I hatch all the time and then just wait until nightfall, slip the chicks under her and next morning she is taking care of them. Your problem will be that in order to take care of chicks hatching today, she will abandon the nest and stop sitting on her eggs so they will not hatch in a week. And, if she accepts today's chicks and starts raising them, she will not be willing to accept new chicks in a week, even if you finish incubating them and give them to her. In short, you can have her raise the incubator chicks this week, or the chicks from the eggs she's sitting on next week, but there is almost no chance she will raise two sets of chicks hatched a week apart.
  3. laura8700

    laura8700 In the Brooder

    Sep 10, 2014
    Warrenton va
    Thank you for the reply. I knew it was wishful thinking that she would care for them all.
    Just goin to let her hatch the ones she has and will manage the other ones.
    I homeschool and letting the kids see all the different processes has been very educational ;)
  4. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    Totally second this. In rare circumstances, with chronic broodies such as some silkies, you can add chicks to a clutch later. But the majority of hens fix their clutch in their little brains about 48 hours after the first chick hatches, and anyone who comes around after that is not viewed in a friendly way.

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