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Can I put two different breeds under one hen?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by fizzyizzy, Sep 25, 2012.

  1. fizzyizzy

    fizzyizzy Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 25, 2012
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    I have a broody black leghorn bantam hen that has just hatched 5 chicks. I am considering putting 3-4 day old Isa Brown chicks underneath the chicken (we have a supplyer nearby that sells day old chicks), as the Leghorn bantams are not very good layers. Will she accept the the chicks? I have has some advice from a friend and he said that if you put the Isa Brown chicks underneath the chicken in the dark, she would become confused and accept the chicks. I'm not sure about that, as the Isa Brown chicks are bright yellow, and the Leghorn Bantam chicks are black and white. Will his theory work? If not, could you please post any ideas on how to get the hen to accept the new chicks? Thanks.
     
  2. TurtlePowerTrav

    TurtlePowerTrav T.K.'s Farm

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    Oregon City, OR
    My Coop
    Chickens can count, unless she had unhatched eggs under her she may not accept the new chicks. If you do put them under her in the dark, make sure it is pitch black dark and make sure you are out there before light to remove them if she does not accept them.
     
  3. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    Your best bet is to do it before her chicks are 24 hours old, you might have a window to 48 hours. After that, they know their babies and can be aggressive toward other chicks. Some hens are just maternal enough to take in anything, others are tougher. Be prepared to brood the ISAs in case momma doesn't like them. She'll let you know pretty quickly if she'll take them or not.
    Also, consider the size and space. Your hen is a bantam, did she hatch out bantam or large chicks? 6 large chicks seemed to be the max for my bantam cochin to brood, so be sure you're not getting too many for her to cover and keep warm.
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2012
  4. fizzyizzy

    fizzyizzy Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 25, 2012
    Northern NSW, Australia
    Thanks. The chicks were only hatched last night, and they are bantams. She had 2 eggs that didn't hatch, so I think my best bet is to get 2 Isa chicks, then she might think that all her eggs have hatched
     
  5. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    How's it going?
     
  6. fizzyizzy

    fizzyizzy Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 25, 2012
    Northern NSW, Australia
    Great! The hen accepted the chicks and are getting along fine.
     

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