Broody mama adopting chicks?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by CherriesBrood, Feb 15, 2017.

  1. CherriesBrood

    CherriesBrood Chicken Photographer

    Feb 5, 2015
    The Golden State~
    I just hatched 7 chicks in my incubator and about a week ago my porcelain d'uccle went broody.
    I have read up about Brodie's adopting chicks, so this morning I put two chicks under her. She seemed to be doing fine.
    Through out the morning I have been taking one egg out and putting one chick in. She actually seems to be doing great I moved her from the nesting boxes to the brooder and she has been staying on the chicks. I did notice though one time she pecked on one of the babies. I haven't noticed any other times. She does know that chicks are under her and puffs her feathers up any time a chicken goes near her, but I guess my question is will it be safe for me to leave them with her unsupervised because of what she did?
    The babies like to go under her but some are unsure as to what to do. Also this is my first time using a broody so any help is greatly appreciated.

  2. Venevee

    Venevee In the Brooder

    Oct 12, 2016
    I've tried introducing chicks to my hens multiple times and no good luck. My girls never seem to want to accept them, and I even had a porcelain d'Uccle hen kill two chicks that weren't hers that hatched in a nest next to her After that experience, I won't trust any of my hens to raise chicks that aren't theirs. To be on the safe side, I would raise them in a brooder just in case she changes her mind and ends up hurting them. Also, some hens are just bad mothers. The same hen that killed the two chicks ended up hatching her own and would often abandoned it and didn't do a good job feeding him and taking care of him. She was too focused on hatching out her other eggs and he ended up being a runt and extremely small due to lack of attention and care from his mom.

    But this doesn't mean I won't let any of my hens raise their own babies. I have one hen that's a excellent mother and I let her hatch and raise her own babies.
    If you know for sure she is a good mom, then I would say let her raise them. When it comes to letting hens raise chicks, its a gamble and you just got to see how they do.

    Good luck! [​IMG]
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2017
  3. Table4Six

    Table4Six Crowing

    May 22, 2012
    I have had multiple broody hens adopt chicks, but you have to be careful. I have found that the best thing to do is give the hen the chicks at night so they can't fully see them and usually she will think that they hatched during the night. You might want to try this method, because the hen will be more accepting due to the fact she thinks their her chicks.
  4. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Inconsistent results is a function of not taking into account where hen is in her broody cycle and age of chicks. Hens and chicks have windows here the bonding / imprinting can occur and some parts of the open window may need to be "pried open" where hen and chicks are in close proximity but where hen can not harm chicks if imprinting not far enough along. For me, the overnight trick by itself is risky.

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