Chicks Born Weeks Apart Under Broody - Help Please!


In the Brooder
7 Years
Dec 18, 2012
Brooksville, KY
As a result of my inexperience, I ended up with a broody Silkie on a clutch of eggs that kept getting added to by my other hens. I had two chicks hatch at the 3 week mark, and then another two the following week. I thought that would be it, but she was still sitting on a few eggs, so I decided to wait and see what happened. Today I had another chick hatch. So now I have chicks that are in different stages of development with the same mother. I had to bring today's chick inside and put it on a heating pad to warm up because it kept getting stepped on by momma and older siblings and was desperately trying to crawl around and get under mom, but kept rolling over on its back. So... I'm wondering if I made a big mistake here. Hoping mom goes back to the nest so I can slip the little one back under her. It seems like they usually need a day to get their legs under them. I'm just afraid he/she won't be able to keep up.

My next dilemma is how to integrate them back into the flock. Right now I have them in a smaller enclosure inside the coop (hardware cloth) so that they can all still see each other, but the chicks still have some safety from the adults. I have another broody whose eggs should start hatching this week and I was hoping to put mom #1 and her chicks out with the flock and a creep feeder, but now that I have this tiny one I'm not sure it will work. I also did a trial run yesterday (before little one hatched) and the chicks were getting picked on and mom was not doing the greatest job protecting them. I want to make sure they are safe.

Does anyone have any recommendations? Should I just take mom #1 and chicks to a separate location until they are more mature? Should I let them out into the flock and let things play out? The pecking yesterday wasn't too serious, but I didn't let them out too long. Need some advice from someone with more experience. Please help!
Not experienced enough to answer your question but this will hopefully bump it so someone more knowledgeable notices it.

Isn't mama looking after the little one? If not, maybe you should remove the chick and raise it yourself?
I should add that the little one actually somehow got stuck to her and that is how I found it this morning (stuck to her wing while she walked around) peeping sadly. Once I detached it she did not seem to interested. When I last checked she was up and about and didn't seem to interested in it, which is why I have it inside now on a heating pad.
Too late for this advice, but if you have a broody sitting on eggs in a public spot, then mark all the eggs in the clutch you want her to hatch with something non-toxic ... then you can remove any extra eggs every day.

I don't want my momma hens distracted between sitting on eggs and taking care of chicks.

I'm hoping you'll get a little buddy for your lone late hatcher.

As far as integrating chicks to the rest of the flock goes, some people don't segregate them at all. Some people suggest giving them a week to get up and about, behind wire like you've got yours so everyone can see each other, then introducing them to the flock. Some people suggest integrating chicks at 5 weeks. Some people suggest waiting until everyone is the same size. Lots of opinions reflect lots of variables.

My last batch (only two chicks) was integrated at about 5 weeks -- they had been brooded in a wire cage in the main coop so everyone was familiar with each other. They got chased a lot, but were fast enough to get away so survived -- their momma was not much help. We have a batch of week-old chicks right now, and I'm thinking of taking the box away now, that way Momma might figure out it is her job to protect them and help them integrate (we let her brood the eggs in a public spot, but moved them into a cage for hatching).
If the original mom is still sitting you could leave her on the eggs and let her finish. I would then suggest you take all the chicks away from her and feed them as she is still busy incubating the rest of the eggs and those week old chicks especially need food and water. The other suggestion I would make is to put the unhatched eggs under the second hen. I have often add incubator chicks under a hen with chicks. I would keep the new chicks for 24 hours and then slip them under her at night. My one hen went to bed with four week old chicks and woke up the next morning with nine 48 hour olds and I added the next day another two late hatchers. I did keep her in a smaller coop for about 5 days and I found that a week is about the longest I can stretch it.
I have a broody hen that hatched some guineas 5 weeks ago. I am thinking about getting some cuckoo maran chicks that were incubator hatched with them. They are about 4 weeks old. Will they accept a mama and will she accept them?

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom