Can I get my broody hen a baby chick?


In the Brooder
7 Years
Apr 22, 2012
South Florida
If anyone can answer my questions, its my backyard chicken family!!!!

We have a Wyandotte hen who has repeatedly gone broody this year. The first time we put her in solitary and it worked for a period of time. Now, she is back at it and refusing to leave the nesting box and growling up a storm (which is actually kinda cute since she is such sweet chicken).

Here is the question: Is it ok to get a baby chick and place it with her in the nesting box? I suspect she will be a good mom but I only want one more chicken in my flock. Is that a bad idea? Will she take to the new baby? Should there be more than one? And, if its ok, will she raise it in the coop/run with the rest of the ladies?

Also, we free range during the day. Would it be better to keep momma and baby sequestered in the run for protection from predators?

I'm open to any suggestions!

Thanks all and have a happy Easter!
It's generally pretty easy to graft chicks to broody mommas. Here's a couple things to increase your odds of a good outcome...

Wait until the hen's been seriously broody a good 2 weeks, at least. Closest you can get to 21 days is best.

Get the youngest chick you can. Depending on where you're getting the chick, find out when the birds hatch or come in and be there that day.

Most folks advise to put the chick in at night. Some say you need to tuck it under momma, but most of the time you can just get it close to her and it will crawl under her on it's own.

You can do one chick and it will be fine, rasied with momma in a flock. I leave my broodies in the flock and let momma raise them there. As the chick gets older the mature hens will teach it good manners, but they don't injure chicks as a rule. Momma keeps a pretty good eye on that.

You can also get a few more chicks and put under her, for a bigger brood. When they're "weaned", around 6 weeks, you can then decide which chick you want to keep, and sell the rest. Most folks have no problem selling birds at this age, since they don't need a heat lamp anymore. Plus, if you do this, you will be sure to get a female to keep as a layer. If you only get one chick, there's that one in ten chance you picked a rooster....
Rachel, Thank you for the excellent advise! There is a lovely breeder near by who will no doubt let me bring back any roo's or extra chicks when they've been weaned.

I appreciate your suggestions! Thanks so much!

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