Can I Place purchased chicks under a broody hen

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by wheatnroses, Apr 16, 2016.

  1. wheatnroses

    wheatnroses Out Of The Brooder

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    Can I place purchased chicks under a broody hen, and will she mother them or hurt them? Seems to me I read somewhere that this could be done. Has anyone tried this?? I would feel horrible if I were to get these babies hurt in any way.
     
  2. JaeG

    JaeG Overrun With Chickens

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    The babies mustn't be older than 48 hours old and the broody needs to have been broody for at least 2 weeks. Put them under her at night and wait to observe how she reacts, and get up early the next morning to observe again to ensure she has accepted them.
     
  3. wheatnroses

    wheatnroses Out Of The Brooder

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    I have 38 chicks coming,I'm worried that this is too many for one hen?? I have two broody silkies setting on eggs together in one nesting box. will they work together?
     
  4. TimCline

    TimCline Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That's far to many with 2 hens. I would do like 5-10 each tops.
     
  5. JaeG

    JaeG Overrun With Chickens

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    Wow, that probably is a few too many for one hen. If they are sitting on eggs together odds on they will look after the babies quite happily together. You'll just have to keep an eye on them to make sure everything is going well, and check all babies are tucked up at night. With that many babies you may need to give them some additional heat. Just see how they go.

    Having had chicks hatched under broodies, and buying slightly older ones that I've had to brood myself, I much prefer the chicks to have a chicken Mum. The ones my broodies hatched know how to scratch and view us as always coming with yummy treats. They will eat anything and are super friendly! I can't get the ones I'm brooding to try anything new and they are still cautious of us. And their claws are razor sharp because they don't scratch around - they just occasionally scratch in the food bowl. So much nicer to have a real Mummy.

    Good luck.
     
  6. realsis

    realsis Crazy for Silkies

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    That's interesting. I'm wondering if a lot depends on breed because about 5 days ago I got my chicks. 10 of them. They are so amazingly friendly. They actually RUN TO ME! They jump in my hands and lap and absolutely love to cuddle!; when I tap on the top of the waterer they all drink, same with the food. I've never had this friendly chicks my whole life! 7 are Barred Rocks, 2 are laced wyannadottes, one is a Golden Buff. They are really smart too! But they are in a brooder with a Brinsea Ecoglow radiant heat brooder. I've always heard Barred Rocks were smart and friendly but I didn't expect this! I feel so blessed!
     
  7. wheatnroses

    wheatnroses Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you all for your help and so much wonderful information. I feel better about this now.
     
  8. JaeG

    JaeG Overrun With Chickens

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    You are being a good chicken mummy! Barred Rocks and Wyandottes are lovely chickens. Our chicks have been a week or two old when we have got them so age would have a lot to do with the amount of trust and ability to attach to you as the mummy figure. I just wish I could get them to eat their greens! Even my little bantam pullet took ages to learn how to eat greens and that was from watching the other mothers with their chicks (she actually adopted the two chicks she came home with from the breeder which made my life easier - she became a great little mother to them). We have two cuckoo leghorns we got as 2 week old chicks and one has turned into a boy - he is very cheeky and bold, but does not like to be touched. He will come strolling out of their cage even when the cat is around and he'll look you straight in the eye, but reach a finger towards him, he's gone! The other one I'm pretty sure is a girl and she doesn't like to be caught but once she's sitting on your hand she's fine and she will cuddle up and be patted - I never dreamed a leghorn could be that sweet.

    I remember giving my mums and babies hulled sunflower seeds when the babies were about 3 weeks old. They are a huge favourite in my coop and the mums remembered exactly what they were. The mums were so excited that by the time I got to the cage with them the excitement was at fever pitch and when I opened the door I had little feathered projectiles launching themselves at me! It was hilarious. Chicks are so much fun.
     
  9. dekel18042

    dekel18042 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Usually I hatch in warm weather although I have done winter and early spring hatches. But if the weather is nice I put the babies out in the sun on grass in an x-pen and they learn to scratch with the best of them. My flock also comes over and visits. When they go out permanently they go in their own coop with a run joining the main run then later they can free range together. I've never had a problem with their not acting like chickens.
     
  10. JaeG

    JaeG Overrun With Chickens

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    Once my leghorn are out of quarantine and can be round our other chickens I'm sure they will learn from the others. I've just loved watching our broody mums bring up their babies, seeing them snuggling up together, the way the mums call them for food so enthusiastically, how patient the mums are, not having to worry about babies being too hot or cold. We've had all the fun and none of the responsibility (other than food and clean water).
     

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