Can you slip peachicks under a broody peahen at night?


13 Years
Aug 25, 2010
near Monaca, PA
Hi, I have successfully given chicks to broody chicken hens both at night and day, by just slipping chicks under them. Even our wildest hen, a game hen, has taken chicks. It is always love at first... wiggle.

Has anyone tried this with a peahen? I have a single peahen, and would like to give her 2 or 3 peachicks the next time she is broody. It would probably be safest to switch her eggs at night with fertile ones, and that is what I might end up doing if I don't get a positive response here.

So has anyone slipped new peachicks under a peahen at night? What were your results?
I have done it but they were some i hatched out the same time as she hatched out hers.

If the chicks are not freshly hatched say they are like 3 days old they most likely will not bond with her or her with them.

As far as putting them under her just cause she is broody, i never had that work with any kind of bird here it has to be hatching time or real close to it.

If you have chicks , then you must have eggs, why don't you just let her sit it out, the results will be much better, she will bond and lay no more eggs till she gives them the boot or laying season is over.

I haven't done it with peahens, but I'd imagine that it really depends on the hen. FWIW, I have had chicken hens attack new chicks, so it doesn't always work with chickens for me... usually does, but every so often a hen will reject them.

I haven't done this and I`m not sure that I would risk it. My worry would be that she would reject the chicks which would be a big problem if you weren't there when she did. Also, when the chicks eventually start roaming around what if she left the eggs for too long??
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I just have the one peahen, which I drove an hour and a half into Ohio to pick up several years ago. She was raised with chickens so she thinks she is one, lives with my flock in a coop, free ranges with them all day and goes back at night with them to get locked into their "bomb shelter" my husband made for them.

The chicks or eggs I mentioned, I would have to drive an hour and a half in the other direction to get. Based on the feedback I am getting here on BYC so far, it looks like no one has tried giving chicks to broody peahens, so I won't either. If Kazoo rejects them, that is one thing, but if she rejects and hurts one before I can take it back... ? It would be irresponsible of me to put the chick in danger, and possibly tragic for the chick.

Thank you to those who responded! Like I mentioned, I have done it several times with hens, even giving them chicks that were several weeks old (you know, someone's Easter chicks), and they have always taken them. Based on that I was going to go ahead and try this with Kazoo, but I am glad I asked here first.
Last year when my broody peahen was naturally hatching her chicks, one peachick was taking too long to hatch. I had to take her at night away from the nest with her chicks and put her in a safe indoor area. The peachick that was just hatched and not dry like its sibling was placed under a broody cochin bantam to dry overnight. In the morning I let the chick go back to the peahen and it was perfectly fine. I had one cochin bantam nearly kill her peachicks, and they spent most of first few months screaming for her, but I would not let her kill them. I have had many broody hens kill chicks soon after hatching. Biggest dissappointed was with my bronze eggs. I had to help the peachicks out. One was bronze bs, what I had been wanting. I went to put them in the brooder. I was slowly reaching take each peachick one by one. Then I pull out a dead bronze bs peachick. And to this day I still do not have bronze bs... I personally found my peahen to be way better than any chicken. Even why jumping from a perch, she would land just perfectly not to hit a cick on the head. It's impressive how careful peahens are with their peachicks.
I agree the peahens do a great job with their peachicks, and their hatch rates are normally 100%!

Peahens will almost never incubate their first eggs. The first eggs you will find in easy to spot locations or places in the open like under the roost or something and they normally will not be all together in a group (or at least for me they are not). Then when the peahen is actually ready to make a nest, she will actually choose a better location and maybe scratch out a depression a bit. Then she will lay several eggs all together in this spot, and once she has laid the last one she will sit on the eggs. Every day she will get off the eggs for a bit to eat, drink, stretch, etc. Sometimes young peahens will make mistakes as far as incubating. One of the worst things that happens to them is an egg breaks, and then they abandon the whole nest.

Funny how hens are different, my hens only come off the nest every few days and once an egg breaks i will take them all as the smell will draw unwanted guest to the area including my own dogs, my dogs will not mess with a sitting hen but if there is a broken egg they will raid the nest of all the eggs when the hen comes up to eat.
Funny how hens are different, my hens only come off the nest every few days and once an egg breaks i will take them all as the smell will draw unwanted guest to the area including my own dogs, my dogs will not mess with a sitting hen but if there is a broken egg they will raid the nest of all the eggs when the hen comes up to eat.

Since mine are all penned during laying/setting season, I get to observe my hens more closely than some do. My hens will get off their nest twice a day, early morning and again in the evening around feeding time. So they must all be different in their habits. Several of them will not abandon a nest because of broken eggs, I've seen them continue sitting on the remaining eggs even though they were a mess and covered with yolk from the broken one.

I pull those myself as I have no idea what bacteria could be growing in the nest.
I let me india blue hen out to free range for her second clutch. Her first egg was laid far away from her nest, which I believe was to attract possible predators away from the nest. She found a nice nest that she just scraped out a depression in the dirt and laid all of her eggs there. She would come of flying and honking once a day. I think I did read that that behavior is also to attract predators to her, and not the nest. Not sure if that is correct, but it makes sense. I wish I still had that hen, but since she died, I do not really want to do natural incubation again. It seemed like raising chicks didn't help my hen at all.

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