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Can you trick a brooding hen to adopt chicks?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by KauAnnie, Jul 2, 2011.

  1. KauAnnie

    KauAnnie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 30, 2011
    I am planning buying one or two new chicks but I want to be naturally raised. So, if a hen is brooding and leaves the nest, could I pop in two chicks and when she has returned, will she believe they are hers?

    Or should I just put a fertile egg under her?
    Thanks for the help!
  2. Jferlisi

    Jferlisi i dont eat chicken!!!!

    Nov 2, 2010
    Menifee CA
    No dont do it when she leaves the nest. Wait till its dark out and then go out there and stick them under her. Make sure you keep an eye out cause not all hens will adopt them. Im lucky enough that my silkie will accept babies even in middle of the day. LoL she is crazy.
    ETA: do you have a broodie atm? or are you just saying for the future?
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2011
  3. hcppam

    hcppam Chillin' With My Peeps

    I read something here BYC about that...something about sliding it under her just before dark??? not sure the answer, is here somewhere. sorry [​IMG]
  4. chickenlover4444

    chickenlover4444 Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 1, 2011
    hi, I have a broody hen right now and I am planning on getting chicks and getting my broody hen to raise them. What I have heard to do is, in the middle of the night slip the chicks under her and she will think that they are her own. I've never done it but I'm going to give it a try. [​IMG]
  5. Theapplechicks

    Theapplechicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 13, 2011
    Not really experienced at this but I can tell you what happened to us. I have a little game hen that went broody and hatched 4 little chicks. She was very protective of them and a good mother. After this hatching my Cochin went broody but we had gotten rid of the roo a while before and there were no fertile eggs for her to lay on. I kept trying to break her but it wasn't happening. Then the weird thing happened. She decided that the 4 little chicks that hatched were now her children. So my little ones have 2 mommies! lol! Their real mama gets a break and only comes running if they are in danger (or think they are) and for the remainder of the day they follow my cochin and her sweet little clucks. She calls them and protects them and leads them to food or bugs. They all sleep together in the nest box at night.

    So I would say it's possible. [​IMG]
  6. Cosmopolis Chick

    Cosmopolis Chick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 24, 2010
    Grays Harbor
    Quote:Not in the daytime!
    Go out there at night when they are good and settled. Have the chicks and a flashlight with you. Chicks should be 1 to 4 or 5 days old. Using the flashlight slip them under her, she will not struggle, and the glare will keep her from seeing much. Shut off the light quickly and back out quietly. The chicks will gravitate toward her warmth. When she wakes in the morning she will think she hatched them. Here's hopin'! Worked for me and should for you. I learned it here on BYC!

    One of my own pages (forget which) has pics of my Silkie with her dearly beloved adopted chicks. (At 11 weeks they are now bigger than her)
  7. MJS

    MJS Out Of The Brooder

    May 27, 2010
    When one of my hens sat on her eggs for five weeks and they didn't hatch, we figured the rooster hadn't succeeded. She was so patient - sitting there day after day. We felt sorry for her, so bought two tiny chicks from the feed store, and stuffed them under her in the middle of the night. I was nervous all night long. The next morning she was proudly cooing to her new babies, whose little heads were peeking out from under her wings. About two weeks later, we did the same for another hen, whose eggs all broke. Same result. Both were very relieved to finally be able to leave the nesting box!
  8. KauAnnie

    KauAnnie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 30, 2011
    Thanks, I'll start arranging plans before they start brooding.

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