Can I put day old chicks under a new mother who already has chicks?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by inquisitivebird, Jan 18, 2016.

  1. inquisitivebird

    inquisitivebird Out Of The Brooder

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    I found my hen go broody after coming home from a camping trip. I didn't know how long she had been sitting but through more eggs under her. She only had a few. I was hoping they would hatch close enough together that she wouldn't leave the later placed eggs. Well, Saturday, three eggs hatched and Sunday after noon she left with the other eggs still in the box. She had scratched all the bedding up so it was covering the eggs and since it was a warm day the eggs were all still warm. I put them inside in my incubator and 2 days later they are hatching. I want to sneak them under her tonight, but am worried about it being too late for her to accept them. I know you can successfully do this before a broody has chicks, but what about if she already has some just a few days old?
     
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    It will depend upon the temperament of the hen. Your hen is firmly bonded to her chicks and may very well not accept any 'strangers' especially if they are a different color. Some breeds like silkies or Cochins can be more accepting of new chicks.
     
  3. nchls school

    nchls school Chillin' With My Peeps

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    She, most likely, will accept them as a two day difference is not that much.
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2016
  4. Violetsrblu

    Violetsrblu Chillin' With My Peeps

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    How about a 4 or more day difference? We gave 4 eggs laid by a 7 mos old Serama, to a broody Silkie who was our most trusted and experienced mama hen. Two days later, our Serama went broody for the first time. She held fast for two days, so we let her have the last egg she had laid.

    Unfortunately, the Silkie stopped being broody and abandoned the nest after 13 days, so we put them under the Serama. All 4 eggs hatched yesterday and today she won't have anything to do with the nest box or remaining egg. I have moved the egg to a bator and if it hatches, I am worried that either the hen won't accept the new baby, or the older siblings might hurt it. What do you guys think?
     
  5. inquisitivebird

    inquisitivebird Out Of The Brooder

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    I think I will try it with mine. I'll let you know how it goes. My biggest concern is that she will hurt them as impostors. they will be so close to hers though I don't know how she would tell the difference,
     
  6. nchls school

    nchls school Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have watched my hens a great deal when their chicks first hatch and from what I see it takes time before they recognize chicks as their own. I will be most interested to read what happens. I rather think you could have given the hen the new chicks during the day and she would have accepted them as mine do.
     
  7. nchls school

    nchls school Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Many times I have given "late" chicks back to the hen. She will accept the new chick and the siblings will not hurt it. A couple days is not enough to make much difference. More than four days might be different. Please post the results.
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2016
  8. Violetsrblu

    Violetsrblu Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Inquisitivebird, I def want to read your update.

    Nchls school, I too will update. I have returned a late chick once, but it was only a day later and the broody was our sweet Silkie. The Serama is a sweet, docile indoor pet, but her personality became aggressive and she pecks us since she became broody. The Silkie was never aggressive toward us like the Serama, so I worry that the Serama won't be as sweet and accepting toward a late chick.
     
  9. nchls school

    nchls school Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I had just the opposite experience. My tame, gentle SILKIE went bezerk when her serama chicks hatched. The first time I tried to look at the chicks the hen flew in my face and left a scraped and cut arm in her wake. I did not get a close look at the chicks until they were weaned and the hen had become broody again. While the silkie was very aggressive towards me she was equally gentle with the very tiny serama chicks. I think it likely that your serama broody will be the same. An aggressive broody, in my opinion, is good to have; her chicks will be well protected.
     
  10. inquisitivebird

    inquisitivebird Out Of The Brooder

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    So, last night, maybe an hour before dark (its summer here in New Zealand) I went out and put the babies under the hen who had already bunkered down for the night. She didnt seem to care at all at watched me put them under her. Then in the morning they were all happily running about, takijg shelter under the hen every few minutes. So glad it worked. My hen is not agressive at all when broody, I can pick her right up, bit she doesnt like me getting close when she's not broody. I think shes a columbian Sussex or maybe Wyandotte. A friend gave her to me but they didnt know what she was. She's very heavily built, we caller her Penny
     

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