Exactly HOW to introduce chicks to a broody!

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by bragabit, Aug 27, 2010.

  1. bragabit

    bragabit Songster

    Mar 26, 2009
    Southern Utah
    I have two broody hens. One that is going to accept any baby chick I stick under her (already added some from the incubator). But my baby chicks will be here in an hour and I need to know exactly the best way to get them under this bantam hen. She sat on her shipped eggs but they are all duds. I realize it would be better to do it at night, but I want to be able to monitor to make sure she isn't going to hurt or abandon them.

    Is it best to pull the eggs out and put the chicks under or leave the eggs and add 1 chick at a time? (like one chick per hour?)
  2. LaurenM23

    LaurenM23 Songster

    Jun 16, 2010
    King George, VA
    First - I have absolutely no experience with this, but thinking of animal behavior, I would think it best to leave a few eggs and add a couple of chicks at a time. If you go in 2s, at least no one is left alone completely during the transfer process. I would think that a complete change out from eggs to chicks might be a tad too much...she might just steer clear of all of the activity in the nest, having had no time to get used to it.
  3. monita

    monita Songster

    Oct 6, 2009
    Shelbyville, Tennessee
    i would leave the eggs and swap chick for egg 1 or 2 at a time and like you said... do it at night.
  4. Beekissed

    Beekissed Free Ranging

    Make sure its dark where she broods, slip ALL of the chicks under her after removing all the eggs~do this in the darkness. She will stay on that nest and on the babies until morning. By the time you check on her they will be a big, happy family.

    I've done it several times without a mishap....funny to see these surrogate moms all puffed up and defending their new "family". [​IMG]
  5. key west chick

    key west chick Songster

    May 31, 2008
    Gainesville, GA
    I too have done it all at once. When its nice and dark, go out and pull all the eggs and place all the chicks under her. She'll probably start clucking to them right away and may growl at you!

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