First-time broody - Will she accept chicks?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by JestersEye, Sep 19, 2009.

  1. JestersEye

    JestersEye Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 12, 2008
    Mullica Twp., NJ
    I have a hen who seems to be acting broody again. This is her third time trying. She always seems to stop setting early for some reason, so she hasn't hatched out any chicks yet.

    I brought our three new baby chicks down to the coop to meet the other chickens this morning, but the broody hen puffed up and growled at them whenever they came too close to her nest. The chicks arrived on Sept. 10th, as day-old-chicks from MPC. I estimate they are about a week and half old now.

    The rest of the flock came in the coop to peer curiously at the babies, but none of them got close enough to actually touch each other. The chicks were unusually quiet and still during the encounter, as if they knew they should be on their best behavior. We stayed nearby to act as guardians, if necessary.

    What are the chances that the broody hen would take in the chicks if I snuck them under her at night? I wouldn't want them to get hurt, but I'd also like to give her the satisfaction of being a "momma" since she seems to be trying every so often. None of the other hens has ever acted that way, only our pretty blue orp named Sky.

    If I was to try to offer her the chicks at night, should I wait a week or so until she's definately had a chance to get deeper into her broodiness?

    Would she still be fooled into thinking the chicks are hers even if she hasn't had time to set on a clutch of eggs long enough for an actual hatch?

    Anyone with experience with a first-time broody, please offer whatever advice you can. Thanks! [​IMG]
     
  2. Omran

    Omran Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 26, 2008
    Bagdad KY
    It is a liitle bit hard to tell because each broody has her own behaviour.
    We got our first broody ever this year and she hatched 6 of 12 eggs and she is mothering them very very well.
    You can't wait much longer to stick the baby chicks under her, because je older they get, je less chances for her to accept them.
    you can try to offer chicks for her, but I would be watching real close (just in Case).

    Good luck,
    omran
     
  3. JestersEye

    JestersEye Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 12, 2008
    Mullica Twp., NJ
    I think I might try tonight and see how she reacts. Maybe my son would be willing to camp out in the coop tonight, in order to keep an eye on things, if she seems willing to let them in the nest. I'll hang a brooder light over her box, also.
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2009
  4. Omran

    Omran Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 26, 2008
    Bagdad KY
    Quote:if she let them in you don't need any lights. she will keep them worm.
     
  5. cshells2009

    cshells2009 Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 17, 2009
    I am new to raising chickens (and to backyard chicken). I raised mine as day olds I received in February. I had a buff get so broody that I put 2 marans eggs under her to see what would happen because she had never laid an egg. Evidently what happens is they hatch [​IMG] This morning I found a baby on the floor so I moved her to a separate location (modified an empty dog house and a chicken wired little yard) nest and all. I tried to put her baby in the nest and she attacked it! How did I screw this up and can I fix it? Will she attack the other eggs as they hatch? Right now I have the baby inside with a heat lamp setup.
    oh yeah, and evidently she got a few other hens to donate to the cause because she has 8 other eggs beside the marans I gave her. I have no idea when they will hatch.
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2009

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