Can I bring back a broody hen that has been living w/ a friend??


9 Years
May 11, 2010
Northern California
I just thought of something:

My favorite broody hen went to live w/ a friend who was down to one lonely layer but now they are back up to a flock of 5.
We were ok w/ letting her go because our other 4 layers were picking on her after our roo died last year.

If I were to bring her back to raise the babies I'm getting in the mail soon, how would I introduce them to her & should i bring her in to my flock a head of time or keep them separate until the chicks are older?

Also, does she have to be acting broody now to accept the chicks? She was broody when I gave her up last Spring but I haven't noticed her behavior recently since I'm not visiting very often.

I'd really love to watch her be a mama! (guess I have to check & see if my friend wants to give me back my girl first!)

Thanks for any info you can share about introducing babies to a flock!
"Being broody" is a hormonal thing, and if she's not already sitting on a nest when the chicks arrive, it's not likely she will accept and mother them. Also, if you bring her back, she will be lowest in the pecking order and likely get picked on again. Even if she is broody right now, moving her may very well break her broodiness. It's always possible your plan will work -- but I'm afraid not very likely.

If a hen is allowed to raise her chicks in with the flock, starting when she first takes them to eat and drink, you shouldn't have any problem with integration when she stops being a mother to them. They should already be considered part of the flock by the others. When I've done this, the chicks tend to stay together and off by themselves til full size, but they were never harassed by the others.
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