Can I sneak newly hatched chicks in with a broody hen?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by thelmers, Jun 6, 2017.

  1. thelmers

    thelmers In the Brooder

    Mar 18, 2017
    I have an incubator with 18 eggs and they are starting to hatch today. We decided to incubate the eggs ourselves so that our hens would continue to lay eggs. As it happens, one of our hens (who ironically is the mother of the eggs we are incubating), went broody two days ago. Instead of isolating the chicks from the flock that they came from, can we put the newly hatched chicks under the broody hen? Will she accept them or kill them?

  2. PD-Riverman

    PD-Riverman Crowing

    Jan 14, 2012
    Conway SC
    You can try, probably want work------she might accept, might not, might kill them. Personally I would put them in the brooder being she has only been broody for 2 days. Your call!
  3. debid

    debid Crowing

    Jan 20, 2011
    middle TN
    There are no certainties. She might be thrilled to have them and not bothered by how short her incubation was or she might know something is amiss and refuse them. That's always a risk. I'd give it a shot, though, if they were mine.
  4. Phage

    Phage Mad Scientist

    Aug 1, 2009
    San Diego, CA
    I would give her a couple of the unhatched eggs and let them hatch under her. If all goes well sneak in other chicks.
    Still a bit of a risk
  5. Chicken Chat

    Chicken Chat Songster

    Jul 19, 2009
    Southern Illinois
    That is going to depend on your hen. I have a couple silkies that love to be moms so much that they will accept anything and everything from the start, but I have others I have tried to slip babies under that have been broody the whole month and it didn't work out. I have had the best luck slipping them under the broody at night so she has to sit on them all night. I wait in the coop for awhile to hear the babies and mom talk to each other and for her to settle in on top of them and then I know it's safe. If she doesn't want them, you will know right away as she will attack them under her. You could try it, but be ready with a back up plan in case things go south.

  6. Eps32

    Eps32 Songster

    Dec 22, 2015
    North Carolina
    In my experience it's all on the mother hens personality. I've had some hens protect there baby's to the death. Not literally death but protect them well. And some let the other pick on there chicks. It's something you just have to keep an eye on.
  7. thelmers

    thelmers In the Brooder

    Mar 18, 2017
    We decided to leave her be. She has 10 eggs she is sitting on. We marked them so we can tell which are newly laid eggs and which are in gestation. All of the chicks have hatched from the incubator and only 3 made it out of 18. Most were not fertilized. Maybe we need another rooster. (I can't believe I typed that).
  8. Bluechick2u

    Bluechick2u Songster

    Jan 12, 2016
    Prineville, OR
    Check the roosters spurs, if too long they can affect fertility. (Easy to remove by steaming with a very hot potato, then pulling off the outer spur hull)

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