Can Non-Broody Hens "Adopt" Chicks**UPDATE**

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by MesMama, Apr 27, 2016.

  1. MesMama

    MesMama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 22, 2015
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    Anyone ever have a hen adopt chicks that they didn't hatch out themselves? I have 19 chicks, 5 weeks old and I have noticed a couple hens very interested in the chicks. One hen, in particular, would sit at their brooder (see pic below) and now that we have moved the chicks out into their own coop and little pen area to grow them out a few more weeks, that same hen comes to the fence and makes little noises (not the broody noise, but more of a soft clucking/churring noise) and pecks at the grass. Just had me wondering if she would mother these chicks if I let her in the pen? She seems very interested in them...or she's methodically plotting their demise LOL!

    Here she is when they were still in their brooder in the bigs coop-
    [​IMG]
     
  2. rhondademulder

    rhondademulder Out Of The Brooder

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    YES!!! I had a Yellow Orp (kinda just like the pic of yours) do the same thing ...the sound is a Momma's "food is here sound ! " I would allow her some one on one time with a few and see how she reacts and interacts! Its a wonderful natural experience...She will eventually allow them to Ride and sit on her back (for warmth) and it will encourage her to go "broody " I believe !!
     
  3. MesMama

    MesMama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 22, 2015
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    Interesting! It would be great if she mothered these babies, it would help me feel better about letting them out with the others in the rest of the pasture. She would show them the ropes and watch over them.
     
  4. rhondademulder

    rhondademulder Out Of The Brooder

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    She may also help to somewhat protect them from the pecking order "meanies" ! The gal I had was really quite old and.never went broody prior to the meat bird chicks being raised. She was at the bottom of the "pecking order " and I had her separate from the main flock to save her from the torment. When I introduced this sweet & gentle girl to the babies she was weak and listless...within a few weeks she had perked UP ...started eating like a youngster and revived to the point of amazement with her new "job" of raising the meaties! The meaties were big and almost full sized when we had to separate them because of their weight and growth rate...and Unfortunately this winter she didn't make it. She was a great layer and Foster Mom ...beautiful to see mother nature's Natural instincts !!!
     
  5. Jrose

    Jrose Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've brought chicks as small as 2 weeks old out with the hens. I have a few proven broodies. I swear their pupils dilate and their brain screams "BABIES!". They approach the chicks, peck them lovingly on the head (as chicken moms do to get their attention), try to feed them, guard them, etc. My turkey hens puff and strut around them, immediately driving off the flock from her new-found fuzzbutts.

    BUT. The chicks run away screaming "MONSTER! AAAAHHHHHHHHH!"

    And the broody follows behind calling out to them "MY BABIES! MY BABES! COMES BACK BABES! I WANT TO SIT ON YOU!"

    And ultimately it doesn't work out for me </3
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2016
    2 people like this.
  6. MesMama

    MesMama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 22, 2015
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    Aww what a sweet girl! Sorry for your loss :(
     
  7. MesMama

    MesMama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 22, 2015
    Iowa

    Lol!!!!! Sorry it doesn't work for you, but that mental picture is funn.y. ;P
     
    1 person likes this.
  8. micah wotring

    micah wotring Overrun With Chickens

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    WV boy here!
    So, I have 2 bantams and 4 light brahmas that are all full grown.

    I have 5 chicks coming in the mail today or tomorrow.

    Do you think that if I put them in an adjacent pen that maybe a hen would show interest?

    I understand that it is not a definite yes or no but I was wondering how likely it would be.

    I also have a Rhode island red that was playing with being broody a few weeks ago.

    If this works it would be nice because I have 10 bourbon red turkeys coming at the same time and only have one brooder. Of corse, I could do a divider but any work that the hen will do for me is appreciated.
     
  9. MesMama

    MesMama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 22, 2015
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    I would say it's worth a try? Be ready with a broom or something to scoot the hens away if they get sassy with the babies once you introduce them within the same pen. I think I read a couple weeks is best to have them side by side before putting them together, so thy can get used to each other a little beforehand
     
  10. micah wotring

    micah wotring Overrun With Chickens

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    WV boy here!
    OK, thanks

    I will try [​IMG]
     

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