Do hens know if baby chicks are theirs if they were hatched in incubater?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Nikkijo, Apr 10, 2018.

  1. Nikkijo

    Nikkijo Chirping

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    This is prob a dumb question. I would assume they don’t but my chicks mom is very fascinated with them. The chicks are inside their own little cage so the big girls won’t hurt them. What do you guys think?
     
  2. Sorry, I never used an incubator. Only broody hens.:confused:
    May sound strange but mamma knows her babies, even fully grown!
     
  3. 21hens-incharge

    21hens-incharge Addict

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    A good broody mama will adopt hatchery chicks. Are they "hers"? They are once she accepts them.

    That said....broody is the key. A hen that is not sitting will not adopt. Her hormones aren't set for it.
     
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  4. bluejeans

    bluejeans Songster

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    You could try asking her.
     
  5. bluejeans

    bluejeans Songster

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    Let us know what she says.
     
  6. 21hens-incharge

    21hens-incharge Addict

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    Oh and..... If a hen is to adopt it needs to be done when she has been sitting in the nest (broody) for around 18 days. The chicks need to be as young as possible so they will accept her as mom too. Even 5 days old can result in them not knowing to go to her for warmth.
     
  7. Lady of McCamley

    Lady of McCamley Crowing

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    No. Hens do not know their biological chicks from anothers.

    A broody hen will accept anything she hatches as hers, and if she is broody, she often will foster those that she didn't hatch, but that is riskier.

    Your hen is curious because of the chick noises not because they are biologically hers.

    LofMc
     
  8. bluejeans

    bluejeans Songster

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    I think they know there chicks they just do not want to admit it. Or they will have to take care of them .
     
  9. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Crossing the Road

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    I've had a broody adopt about 35 baby chicks of various ages.
    Many hens may contribute eggs to a nest and the hen does not know which are her blood. She doesn't care.
     
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  10. Abriana

    Abriana Spicy Sugar Cookie

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    To get a hen to accept chicks from an incubator, have her sit on fake eggs for 21 days. Then at night, remove the fakes and put the chicks under her. Keep an eye on them to make sure all is well, and it usually is.
     

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