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Chicks for broody hen

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by galaxyflyer1, Jul 2, 2011.

  1. galaxyflyer1

    galaxyflyer1 Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 18, 2009
    Corona Ca.
    Hey all,

    Can I sneak a few baby chicks under a broody hen to fool her?
    What would be the chances of this working?

    Thanks,
    Bob
     
  2. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    I've done it twice. Success both times, 5 to a SF and 3 to a silkie. Best to make the swap from eggs to chicks at night. Only thing is, you need to be ready to brood the chicks artificially if you get the rare broody hen that wants nothing to do with store bought chicks.
     
  3. galaxyflyer1

    galaxyflyer1 Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 18, 2009
    Corona Ca.
    OK thanks. I did find someone close by that has fertile eggs that I can buy. Hopefully if they hatch, Speckles won't abandon them!
     
  4. Naughty

    Naughty Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 10, 2010
    Wichita
    I did that with 6 babies from tsc - and it worked great- then i tried to sneak a few more in a few days later - and she didnt like those - so do it all at once!
     
  5. Chick15

    Chick15 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 21, 2011
    How do you know when a hen goes broody???
     
  6. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Quote:When you reach your hand under the hen to take the eggs and pull back with only a stump left. [​IMG]

    When a hen sits on the nest non-stop, including at night. When she puffs up and growls, pecks or bites you if you try to reach under her. If you take her off the nest and she instantly becomes a pancake, laying very flat and refusing to move. When you catch her stealing eggs from other nests and adding them to her collection of eggs. All these are signs of a broody hen.
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2011
  7. lauriej57

    lauriej57 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 17, 2010
    Southwest Michigan
    I did that this year. I have a banty cochin who successfully hatched and raised 4 chicks last year.

    I wanted certain chicks this year, 4, which I ordered. I put some eggs under her about the same time I ordered the chicks, which were due to arrived in a month. She went broody within a week, but there wasn't much hope for the eggs under her, which was ok with me. When the 4 chicks came in, during the daytime, I slipped a chick under her and removed an egg. I think at this time she had 5 eggs under her, which were all bad. I did the same with the other 3 chicks, one in, an egg out, and she took right to them. It was wonderful.

    However, and food for thought here, shipped chicks, have more tendency to develop pasty butt, than chicks raised by a broody. My setup was not good for checking the chicks daily, especially since she would herd them away from me, and I lost one 2 days later to pasty butt. I then went to the local feed store and bought 4, what they said were day olds, and had I looked closer before I got them home, I would've realized they were closer to 7 or 10 days old.

    I tried slipping them in, it worked ok for the first night, she was alright with the that next day, but wasn't mothering them, but kept them warm the next night. The following day, she was totally rejecting them. She wasn't outright mean, she kept her 2 chicks in a corner, the new 4 stayed in the nest box, and anytime they tried to come out for food and water, she would peck at them and chase them away.

    My 3 twelve week old banties in another part of the coop, ended up raising those 4 chicks, but that's for another story.

    I really think she would've taken in the 4 new chicks, had they been as small as the first 2 she took.

    And remember, these first chicks came in about the time her eggs would've hatched. She also loves to be a mama hen, and I almost think I could slip a few day olds in with her even if she wasn't broody, but that's not one I'm going to try.

    Just make sure if you add more chicks, it's within a day or two, and they are all the same size and age.
     
  8. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    And that you do it at night, when the hen is pretty much comatose anyhow.
     
  9. galaxyflyer1

    galaxyflyer1 Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 18, 2009
    Corona Ca.
    Thanks everyone. This is all good info!
    But change of plans;

    I actually found a place a couple of miles away that has fertile eggs from pure breeds. I bought 6 eggs. Some RIRs. Silver laced Wyandottes. Buff orpington and an eagle egg. Just kidding about the eagle. I forgot what the sixth egg is.[​IMG]

    My broody Barred rock Speckles, likes the eggs and is happy. Oh ya, my hens, (2 left now) were hand raised and I can pick them up any time. Even the broody one. No problems at all.

    My RIR was not acting right for a week so my wife took her to the bird vet. They cleaned out her crop as it had a wire and a BEE BEE in it. She had already to much metal poisoning so we put her down. Never thought a chicken would eat a wire and a BEE BEE. Oh well.
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2011
  10. the1honeycomb

    the1honeycomb Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 23, 2010
    Yadkinville NC-3yrs
    Sorry about your hen hope the chicks work out well. I have a broody who just hatched 2 chicks and I had to put 3 7 week olds in with her as the other birds were terrorizing them but she is ok so far
    Good luck with your birds
     

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