Ever put hatchery chicks under a hen?

chickenpiedpiper

Songster
11 Years
Aug 4, 2008
725
10
141
New Durham NH
Normally I wouldnt do it, but I have an odd situation, I have 5 broody banties, all in the same coop. they all had eggs to begin with, but as I kept checking I noticed that something weird was going on, they were playing musical nests, and the number of eggs under each hen was changing! I now know that one or two of my other banties had become egg eaters, and were alternately laying and eating from different nests, so now my poor broodies are sitting on eggs of all ages, and one even has a single little chick hiding in her skirts.

Today I got a nice big shipment of banties from Meyers, and I am debating sliding a bundle under each hen, and removing any eggs that dont candle dark and ready to hatch.....

Has anyone tried this?

How did it go?
 

justtoni44

Songster
9 Years
Mar 13, 2010
1,096
6
149
oregon
HI, Your situation os a little different from what ours were...
We had a setting hen ,something was stealing her eggs andshe kept adding from other hens.
She had set so long we felt bad for her.........My husband went to the feed store and bought 6 day ols......
At dark, he put them under her and removed the eggs....went well.
If a hen cam smile...she was smiling the next morning with these little guys climbing all over her.......
But you have so many???????????????
Good luck
 

chickenpiedpiper

Songster
11 Years
Aug 4, 2008
725
10
141
New Durham NH
Oh, I would only put 6 or so under each hen, but with 5 hens, that takes 30 out of the brooder!! I like that idea! lol I just didnt know if the the hens would fight over each others babies, or if that many in a coop at once was an issue?

Usually my girls each hatch at a seperate time, and keep thier own babies away from trouble, but I have never had this many at a time in with the big girls...... I usually seperate a hen and her eggs just before hatch into what I lovingly call the hatching hutch, (an old rabbit hutch) then they come out with thier babies when they are ready, and introduce them to the rest of the flock, but the banties are in thier own coop, and just hatch in the nest boxes.

Maybe this isnt a good idea, but I would love to do it, I just need more input!!
 

tinahoak

In the Brooder
9 Years
Apr 22, 2010
83
0
29
Brockport, NY
yes I have done it....just this spring . It worked well for me I only had 5 to slip under to start with so that was good.
My buff orpington hen is an amazing mom !
 

Treegod

Songster
10 Years
Sep 7, 2009
174
5
111
Catalonia, Spain
I just mentioned this on another thread... a couple of years ago we bought four chicks (day old or so) and had three broody hens all piled together. We took one hen and tried to introduce a chick to her, but she didn't accept it. Then we took another hen and she was perfectly fine and they with her.

Also, last year we had two hens setting the same nest, only one egg hatched but somehow the chick imprinted on both hens and they on her (this "chick" is right now sitting on a nest waiting for her own eggs to hatch VERY soon). So we had one lucky chick with two mothers looking after her
It was painful when I wanted to pick the chick up, both the hens are protective types and would attack me! Just because of one chick...
 

card5640

Songster
10 Years
Mar 27, 2009
365
1
129
Bangor area, Maine
I have done it several times this spring, but with various hatch days coming up I wouldn't do it in my last try the mum was up off the eggs the next day bossing her new additions about and stopped sitting. You might want to wait because a few days later I got some 2 week old babies and slid them in at night and she took them anyway. I didnt want to do it till all the eggs she was sitting on hatched out. Its amazing to watch her with so many different age chicks crawling all over her.
 

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