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

thelmers

In the Brooder
Mar 18, 2017
2
0
10
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?
 

PD-Riverman

Crowing
8 Years
Jan 14, 2012
5,007
1,302
406
Conway SC
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?
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!
 

debid

Free Ranging
10 Years
Jan 20, 2011
7,560
6,906
516
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.
 

Phage

Mad Scientist
11 Years
Aug 1, 2009
6,019
2,053
497
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
 

Chicken Chat

Songster
11 Years
Jul 19, 2009
858
160
231
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.
 

Eps32

Songster
Dec 22, 2015
597
121
116
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.
 

thelmers

In the Brooder
Mar 18, 2017
2
0
10
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).
 

Bluechick2u

Songster
Jan 12, 2016
395
315
177
Prineville, OR
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).
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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