Can chicks from the store be substituted for eggs a broody hen is sitting on?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Madame Cluck, Apr 9, 2016.

  1. Madame Cluck

    Madame Cluck Out Of The Brooder

    May 24, 2012
    We have seven hens. Two of my bantam hens are broody quite often, but recently after each of them had been through a broody stage, the Sicilian Buttercup got on the nesting box and has not left. However, the other hens are still laying in the coop, and the Buttercup is stealing their eggs each day and sitting on them. We have removed all the eggs twice, but the next day when the other hens lay, any eggs she gets to before we do, she sits on. The eggs are probably fertilized, because we have a rooster. My sons bought chicks recently which are about two weeks old. They are under a heat lamp in a separate location. My question is, if we put the chicks with the broody hen, would she treat them as her own, and integrate them into the flock, or would she be likely to harm them? We don't really have room for the chicks we've already bought and any the hen may hatch on her own. If it's not safe to put the chicks with her, how to we keep her from robbing all the other nesting boxes short of moving her out of the coop?
  2. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    It can sometimes work with day old chicks, but a broody will probably NOT accept 2 week old very careful if trying that.

    Break the broody.
    If you don't want her to hatch out chicks, best to break her promptly.
    My experience went like this: After her setting for 3 days and nights in the nest, I put her in a wire dog crate with smaller wire on the bottom but no bedding, set up on a couple of 4x4's right in the coop and I would feed her some crumble a couple times a day.

    I let her out a couple times a day and she would go out into the run, drop a huge turd, race around running, take a vigorous dust bath then head back to the nest... at which point I put her back in the crate. Each time her outings would lengthen a bit, eating, drinking and scratching more and on the 3rd afternoon she stayed out of the nest and went to roost that evening...event over, back to normal tho she didn't lay for another week or two.
    Water nipple bottle added after pic was taken.

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