First broody hen! Olivia wants to slip chicks, possibly eggs. Advice??

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by SeaChick, May 2, 2008.

  1. SeaChick

    SeaChick Songster

    Apr 25, 2007
    Southern Maine
    Well, our fist hen is officially broody! Olympia is a 11-month-old Australorp. She's been acting funny all week (weird noises, puffing up at odd times. Like when they were out in the yard and she happened to see me carry one of the 6-week-old chicks by her. What's up with that?) but now it's for real. She has been on the nest box all day, puffing and growling like a velociraptor when I reach under her. I took her egg and pushed her out of the nest box but she climbed right back in. Put a plastic plate under her -which feels NOTHING like eggs, I'm sure!- to try to discourage her, but she's staying put. So I gave her some fake eggs to sit on.

    My DD Olivia (Envirogirl11 here on BYC) is absolutely DYING to see a mama hen. She oohs and aaahs over the hen-and-chicks threads on BYC. But we don't have a rooster.

    How much of a gamble is it to buy day-olds at the feed store and slip them under her at night? When is the best time to do that (after how many days?)? We have a feed store getting an order of day-olds in on May 9th, one week from now......

    Alternately, what about fertile eggs? If I ordered some from someone right now would that timing be OK? We have no incubator, so she'd be the only option once they arrived.

    Please let me know if these are just too risky/silly to do. We don't NEED to do it, but I would love for Olivia to have this experience, and I am sure we could find homes for the chicks.

    If we do the day olds, I imagine the first thing would be to remove Olympia to a seperate nest area (a dog crate in the henhouse that can be closed when chicks hatch?) and see if she stays broody there. I guess she might not if its not her familiar nest box, right? Then what is our window to put chicks under her? Like how many days from today?

    Our chicken set-up is small. Once the chicks hatch and she's taking care of them, would she be OK to be walking about in the same area as the other girls?

    Sorry for all the questions, all new!!!! And exciting!!!

    ---- Alternately, if you think this is a bad idea, how do we break her from being broody? (Without any special eqipment, housing/wire floors, etc.)

    Last edited: May 2, 2008

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