Broody hen

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Chef Penny, Jan 10, 2014.

  1. Chef Penny

    Chef Penny Hatching

    Jul 24, 2013
    I heard that if you have a broody hen you can put baby chicks (from a feed store) under her and she will raise the babies as her own. Therefore saving you from putting them under a heat lamp away from the others. Is this true? Has anyone tried it?

  2. Judy

    Judy Crowing Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    I've done it a few times, as many others have. It's not always successful, but I'd say it usually is, if the hen is truly broody and has been for several days (it doesn't have to be 3 weeks.) What is usually recommended, and what I did, is put the chicks under the hen just after good dark. Of course, remove the eggs or fake eggs at the same time, if she has any.

    Once I was raising some chicks in a pen next to the nest boxes where one hen had been broody for weeks and weeks. She wouldn't take the chicks when I brought them home, I found them in corners of the coop hiding, but about 3 weeks later she started pacing the sides of the pen and clucking as if trying to get at "her babies," and the chicks responded. I let them in together and, to my amazement, she "mothered" them for about a month.

    I just let the hen raise the chicks right in with the flock. Feed everyone whatever you're feeding the chicks. If it is chick feed with amprolium, you can even eat the eggs. If you have other hens laying, keep a sreparate small container of oyster shell for them.

    Good luck!

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