Broody isa adopting chicks

DaisyG2317

Crowing
Jul 14, 2020
856
3,229
296
🌷🌷🌷
I have a VERY stubborn broody Isa Brown named Gracie. She has been broody for about 4 weeks now and is dedicated in her sitting. I was considering getting her fertile eggs, but my local feed store has BOGO baby chicks. I'm not sure exactly how old they are, but they appear to be around a week? I'll have to ask tomorrow.

Anyway, I was thinking about getting a few of the chicks and letting Gracie adopt them but am unsure about introductions. There are 3 other isa's that share the coop.

1.Do I need to separate the broody to my standby coop to protect the chicks from the other hens? If I do that, when do I bring them back into coop?
2. When is the best time to introduce? I've seen conflicting answers.
3. Nest box is very high off ground for a little baby chick. If they stay in the main coop do they need something moved to the floor?
 

DobieLover

Easily distracted by chickens
Premium Feather Member
Jul 23, 2018
34,668
282,686
1,642
NY Southern Tier
My Coop
My Coop
1.Do I need to separate the broody to my standby coop to protect the chicks from the other hens? If I do that, when do I bring them back into coop?
I never fully seperate my broodies from the flock. The mothers protect the chicks.
Where is she setting right now?
2. When is the best time to introduce? I've seen conflicting answers.
Introduce the chicks (as young as possible) to her after full on dark. Remove the eggs that are under her and replace them with the chicks. Don't get too many chicks. I would limit it to 4 if you can. Be back out to the coop before dawn to monitor them and make sure she has accepted them.
3. Nest box is very high off ground for a little baby chick. If they stay in the main coop do they need something moved to the floor?
The hen should not be in an elevated nest box. She should be in a ground nest but you can't move her now if you want to try to graft new chicks to her.
Prepare a nice, semi-private nesting area on the floor of the coop, in a corner where you will move her and the brood to the morning after you give her the chicks. It should not be completely shut off from the rest of the birds. She needs to be able to take them out of the coop when she is ready to do so.
You will want to have chick starter, All Flock or Flock Raiser near her nest spot along with a chick safe waterer. I made this and use it for my broodies.
baby bottle close up.png
The entire flock should be switched over to one of the above feeds with a container or two of oyster shell on the side for the active layers. I feed this way year round.
 

DaisyG2317

Crowing
Jul 14, 2020
856
3,229
296
🌷🌷🌷
I never fully seperate my broodies from the flock. The mothers protect the chicks.
Where is she setting right now?

Introduce the chicks (as young as possible) to her after full on dark. Remove the eggs that are under her and replace them with the chicks. Don't get too many chicks. I would limit it to 4 if you can. Be back out to the coop before dawn to monitor them and make sure she has accepted them.

The hen should not be in an elevated nest box. She should be in a ground nest but you can't move her now if you want to try to graft new chicks to her.
Prepare a nice, semi-private nesting area on the floor of the coop, in a corner where you will move her and the brood to the morning after you give her the chicks. It should not be completely shut off from the rest of the birds. She needs to be able to take them out of the coop when she is ready to do so.
You will want to have chick starter, All Flock or Flock Raiser near her nest spot along with a chick safe waterer. I made this and use it for my broodies.
View attachment 2827240
The entire flock should be switched over to one of the above feeds with a container or two of oyster shell on the side for the active layers. I feed this way year round.
Great advice, thank you! How should i prepare a space for her on the floor? Maybe one of those rugged ranch nest boxes you can buy? Coop is 6x6 with 4 hens so space isn't an issue.

I'm hoping the chicks aren't super old and that's why they are bogo. If they are like, 2 weeks old, should I not bother? I hope it works out because they have barnevelders and olive eggers and I really want them!
 

Mamatomany123

Crowing
Mar 14, 2020
3,855
5,187
356
Midland, tx
Great advice, thank you! How should i prepare a space for her on the floor? Maybe one of those rugged ranch nest boxes you can buy? Coop is 6x6 with 4 hens so space isn't an issue.

I'm hoping the chicks aren't super old and that's why they are bogo. If they are like, 2 weeks old, should I not bother? I hope it works out because they have barnevelders and olive eggers and I really want them!
If they're 2 weeks old then I wouldn't bother putting them under her. You could still get them and raise then yourself but I don't think she would have a high chance of accepting them at that age. Definitely have a brooder space set up just in case she doesn't accept them. In my experience, production birds don't accept chicks often. I even let one of mine hatch her own and she went into kill mode.
 

DaisyG2317

Crowing
Jul 14, 2020
856
3,229
296
🌷🌷🌷
If they're 2 weeks old then I wouldn't bother putting them under her. You could still get them and raise then yourself but I don't think she would have a high chance of accepting them at that age. Definitely have a brooder space set up just in case she doesn't accept them. In my experience, production birds don't accept chicks often. I even let one of mine hatch her own and she went into kill mode.
I just called the farm store and they are 1 week old. Still doable or no, you think?
 

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom