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EMERGENCY: Surrogate mothering

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by beautifulbirds, Nov 23, 2008.

  1. Have two sitting hens; Number one (White Wynadotte); first time mother; hatched three chicks, threw the two dark ones out and kept the yellow one. One is dead and the other one under a heatlamp and is just hours old.
    Second Hen (Barred Rock); first time mother; trusts me as I raised her; has hatched dark chick, one yellow which is 1 day old abd has one two eggs left so is still sitting.
    Could I safely substitute a chick for an egg? If so what is the best methodology.
    At this point haven't had any contact with rescued chick which is lying on a towel in the laundry under a lamp.
    Can anyone advise me please?
    My instincts are to put the chick under the barred rock tonight and take out the egg. Is this a good idea or not?
    Thanks in advance.

  2. i am totally not an expert, but, i'm wondering if chickens can count. i mean, would you have to take out an egg? Couldn't you just put the chick under the BR and see if she accepts her?
  3. birdlover

    birdlover Songster

    Jan 11, 2007
    Northern Va.
    The other poster is right! Just slip the baby under her. She won't know the difference (or she won't care). I've even done it in the daylight hours with success. You're lucky you have TWO sitting hens. [​IMG] Good luck!
  4. seriousbill

    seriousbill Songster

    May 4, 2008
    With both clutches hatching at the same time, it should work fine.
  5. Chickenaddict

    Chickenaddict Songster

    May 19, 2008
    East Bethel MN
    Sometimes its hit or miss. I had 3 broodies at the same time and no room to give them all their own brooder to raise the babies in so i took a chick from one of the broodies and put it under another broody who had already hatched some babies the day before. Everything looked great and she took it in no problems. Next morning i woke up to find that chick had been killed by the hen but she nver harmed any of the chicks she hatched herself. Another situation i had was a broody hen hatching some eggs and the last egg to hatch was taking its time hatching and the hen abandoned the egg, I took that egg and placed it under a broody cochin who wasn't setting on any eggs and she hatched it, i then gave the baby back to the other hen who had left the egg and she gladly accepted it. I guess it all depends on the hen but i would monitor her very closely to make sure she doesn't turn on the chick.
  6. Crazy_For_Chickens

    Crazy_For_Chickens Songster

    Nov 18, 2008
    That should work because chickens can't count.

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