Broody hens adopting 'bator chicks?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Puddleducks, Apr 20, 2012.

  1. Puddleducks

    Puddleducks Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 26, 2012
    I have been told that if in the dead of night I take my hatched incubator chicks and slip them under a broody hen that she will take to them? Is this true? And if so whats the best way to go about it? I have both a broody hen and eggs set to hatch a week from now.

    Conversely if I let her set would she be keen to adopt week old chicks after her own hatched?
     
  2. NovaAman

    NovaAman Overrun With Chickens

    If they were hatched with in days... I think you might be able to slip them in with out to much trouble. A week difference may be more of a problem as the bigger chicks may pick on the newer...

    And not all broody hens will adopt... I have proof of that with a broody whose eggs went south, and so I got her some replacement chicks and she frigging freaked out big time and tried killing the babies. I ended up putting them under a silkie who was due to hatch in the next day or so.

    SO, if your broody is a silkie, you probably could do it.
     
  3. FireTigeris

    FireTigeris Tyger! Tyger! burning bright

    The week old chicks will not know what she is and may spend more time running away from her then being protected.

    I have had luck doing this to a broody setting as few as 4 days, but the chicks were never older then two days.

    I always slip them under at about 4;)) am or a couple hours before sun up and watch as everyone gets up to see if she starts pecking (bad) or herding them around (good)- I also look for her body language to change to tail up and fanned instead of laying flat... if she keeps them around her and acts like a protective bush instead of a warm egg setting puddle I assume all is fine for the time being.
     
  4. Puddleducks

    Puddleducks Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 26, 2012
    Ah, thank you! This helps a lot!
     

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