Can I put chicks of various ages under a broody?

cluckingheck

i wanna be a cowboy, baby ( HELL YEAH )
Jun 15, 2020
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TyCo, West Virginia
So, for the past two days, my golden laced wyandotte, Delilah, has been sitting in the nest and is broody ( she’s even plucked her belly feathers ). I have chicks in multiple brooders that range from 4 days old to 3 weeks old ( I actually have some of the 4 day olds in with the 3 week olds ) and some ducklings. Do you think it’d be possible to slip them under her or at least some of them?
Should I wait a little longer to see if she’s dedicated to it? She turned a year old in March and this is her first time as a broody.
 

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sourland

Broody Magician
Premium Feather Member
12 Years
May 3, 2009
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Hens are most likely to foster chicks if they have been setting close to 21 days - especially first time mothers. Chicks the age of yours are not likely to imprint on a hen. It's best to foster young chicks.
 

cluckingheck

i wanna be a cowboy, baby ( HELL YEAH )
Jun 15, 2020
1,518
3,168
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TyCo, West Virginia
Hens are most likely to foster chicks if they have been setting close to 21 days - especially first time mothers. Chicks the age of yours are not likely to imprint on a hen. It's best to foster young chicks.
Yeah, that’s what I was starting to figure. I do have two eggs in an incubator that should be hatching today or tomorrow. Do you think I could manage to put those and the youngest of the other chicks ( the 4 day olds ) under her? The ducklings are 4 days old too, but would they be too different to put under her? Of course, this is if she even accepts them.
 

cluckingheck

i wanna be a cowboy, baby ( HELL YEAH )
Jun 15, 2020
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TyCo, West Virginia
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she actually seems pretty dedicated even if it’s day 3. she wasn’t doing much yesterday when you got near her besides pancaking, but today she’s growling, puffing up as well as pancaking. Do you think there’s a chance she’ll accept them? I can always take them down to the brooders if she doesn’t.

Also, should it be done at night or during the day?
 

lorbird2

Chirping
5 Years
Apr 18, 2016
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59
I snuck them in under her wings at night. I placed 2 under each wing. If I wanted more chickens I would do it again.my hen was broody for about10 days when I placed them. I got the chicks from the farm store. I'm not sure how old they were.
 

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