Can I stick older chicks under a broody hen?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Rasputin66, May 25, 2019.

  1. Rasputin66

    Rasputin66 In the Brooder

    Oct 16, 2017
    New Orleans, LA
    I have ten chicks that I bought a little less than two weeks ago (May 14). They are getting pretty big and I'm ready to get them out of my house, but I'm worried about the two grown hens attacking them. One of the hens has gone broody. Can I stick these under her at night? Will she fall for it and take care of them? How old is too old?
    Last edited: May 25, 2019
    penny1960 and Trish1974 like this.
  2. Anime2lover

    Anime2lover Songster

    Apr 17, 2019
    Dont know and wpuld like to know myself, so im gonna watch this.
    penny1960 likes this.
  3. MissPoulette

    MissPoulette Chirping

    Jun 20, 2018
    Pacific Northwest
    I tried to put a couple of chicks that were 2 weeks old with a broody hen during the day and she just hissed at me. I got my answer pretty quickly. Maybe I should have tried it at night? I did however placed two day old with another broody hen and she just happily cuddled them.
    penny1960 likes this.
  4. Molpet

    Molpet Crossing the Road

    some hens will take any chick, but most need a chick under a week old
    also the chicks may not bond with the hen if they are that old
    penny1960 likes this.
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    With living animals you never know how old is too old. Anything can happen. I would not try it but it could work.

    Some hens will try to adopt any chick, even that old. Most will not. In a normal situation the hen and chicks bond and imprint on each other, starting even before they hatch. The chicks start peeping after internal pip to let the hen know they are coming. They bond some more while they are under her. When she leaves the nest they want to follow her.

    With chicks two weeks old they may have imprinted on you or something else, certainly not the hen. Even if the hen wants them, they may not want her. Sometimes she can bully them into accepting her by pecking them, often she won't try.

    Another aspect is that it sounds like she just went broody. I've had hens that just went broody accept new chicks but I've also had failure with that. Sometimes a hen does not kick over to full broody mode immediately, it may take a few days. I don't know which category your broody falls in but that is an added risk.

    You can always try, you might strike gold. But I would certainly have a plan B ready.
    penny1960 likes this.
  6. Rasputin66

    Rasputin66 In the Brooder

    Oct 16, 2017
    New Orleans, LA
    Well, I tried it and stuck the two smallest ones under her. The peeps were happy to snuggle up under the hen but the hen was very confused and kind of upset. She jumped out of the box and ran around clucking nonstop and kept checking on the peeps in the box. Finally one jumped out and she pecked it. Maybe this would have worked better at night. Anyway, the answer is no on this particular experiment.
    penny1960 and Molpet like this.
  7. penny1960

    penny1960 Going back to La La Land

    Dec 29, 2015
    Mossyrock, WA
    If you have a kinda broody giver her a couple eggs giver a few days that way then at night only go in put one hand under the broody remove a egg replace with a peep if you gave her 3 eggs you can get up to 6 peeps under ... This is the only way I have ever been able to get a broody to take peeps no science involved

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