Can I put three-week-old chicks under a broody hen?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Oblio13, May 24, 2008.

  1. Oblio13

    Oblio13 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I had three Silkies all sitting on eggs, but only three hatched. Those three chicks are now about a week old. All three hens are kind of caring for them communally, nesting together between two bales of hay.

    I also have half a dozen three-week-old Marans in the brooder.

    What is likely to happen if I slip the Marans chicks under the Silkies tonight? Will hens accept chicks that old? Will the older chicks peck the younger?
     
  2. Frizzledhen

    Frizzledhen Spear Gunnin' Coons

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    In my experience, NO. The hens are very protective of their new charges and will not accept new chicks. Even the chicks will not like shareing mom with new chicks. All hens are different but I think at 3 weeks, your marans will be better off in the brooder. I had 2 hens hatch chicks at the same time. Both hens were in the same pen, their pen with the rooster and other hens. The chicks soon learned to stay away from the other mom and her chicks. I thought it was pretty mean of the mom hens to actually attack the other mom's chicks. It didn't take long before the chicks knew who to stay away from. They all get along now at about 4 weeks but the moms will still chase the other mom's chicks away from the food so just her chicks can eat. Chicks learn the sound of their moms while still in the egg. Your marans will not recognize the hens as their mom.
     
  3. buckbeak

    buckbeak Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've had success with this up to one week, but not at 3. You could try it- I'd wait until close to morning & watch closely. Let me know if it works. I have 2 broody silkies that I'm sure are sitting on rotten eggs & have 10 3 week olds in the brooder!
    Good luck!
     
  4. jessupfamily

    jessupfamily Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've had a different experience. We had a brood of mixed breed chicks lose their mama to a raccoon, they were about 2-3 weeks old. So we brought them in the house for a good week in a brooder box. We also had a Silkie hatching eggs at the time. She took them without blinking an eye! We waited until she left the nest with her chicks before we slipped them under her at night. Silkies are some of the best mamas and the most excepting and docile mamas I've ever had. Our Silkies will even try to help take care of the other mamas chicks and some have even "adopted" a couple of babies. Meaning, they stole a couple from other mamas. My Silkie roo even gets broody when the babies hatch. He'll help with everyones chicks! If you have the time to watch, I would give it a try. Silkies are not known to be very aggressive, she might just ignore them or they may ignore her. I say try.
    Blessings,
    Amy J.
     
  5. Oblio13

    Oblio13 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, I put them in together last night and so far so good. Checked on them a few times during the night and they were snuggled up together, and this morning they seem to be getting along well. Silkies certainly do have sweet dispositions.
     
  6. Frizzledhen

    Frizzledhen Spear Gunnin' Coons

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    [​IMG] I hope all goes well with the babies. Silkies really are the super moms of the chicken world.
     
  7. Oblio13

    Oblio13 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This experiment is an unqualified success. Everyone has bonded smashingly. The adoptive mom even pecks me when I reach for one of "her" peeps.


    [​IMG]
     
  8. Guitartists

    Guitartists Resistance is futile

    Mar 21, 2008
    Michigan
    That picture is great! [​IMG] Whata great broody! [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2008
  9. wingnut1

    wingnut1 Crazy Bird Lady

    Great Picture!!!! What a sweet hen!
     
  10. peapatch

    peapatch Out Of The Brooder

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    I tried but didn't work, good luck
     

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