Broody hens and giving them chicks that are not their own question

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by lynn1961, Jul 17, 2011.

  1. lynn1961

    lynn1961 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 14, 2011
    south central Oklahoma
    I have a welsummer hen that hatched her eggs 2 weeks ago.
    The eggs in the incubator hatched 1 week ago.
    The momma hen acted as if she wanted out of the pen that she and her 5 chicks were in, so I put ID bands on her and let her loose late friday evening and put up a heat lamp for her chicks.
    That led to putting the 20 one week old chicks from the brooder in with the 2 week old chicks with a heat lamp in the pen that the momma and chicks were in.
    So now there are 25 chicks in the pen.
    Momma hen on saturday morning was trying to break into the pen where the babies are. She was very, very upset that she could not get in with the chicks. So I let her back in.
    Short of the story is, how common is it for a hen to take over a brood of chicks that are not hers, and such a large number of them ?
    All seems well, the smallest ones are following her around this morning, learning from her. No injured chicks are visable.
    Last night they were all trying to get under her, so I turned the heat lamp on for them, I do not see how she could warm all of them. Heat lamp off this morning as it is about 90 degrees.
    Would you call this hen a good momma or not ?
  2. Amyh

    Amyh Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 11, 2010
    North Carolina
    In my limited experience with Mama hens, I think you have an awesome Mama. I had my first broody hatch 2 chicks (I only let her set 4 eggs), so I tried to graft 2 additional chicks on her and she totally refused them. The chicks she hatched were both little black chicks and the 2 I tried to graft on her were white, so I'm wondering if that is the reason she rejected them... I guess I'll try the same color next time around. [​IMG]

    So glad this worked for you!

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by