Fooling a mom

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by mtminstrel, Apr 22, 2012.

  1. mtminstrel

    mtminstrel Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 29, 2011
    East Haven, Vt
    I have a hen that is brooding eggs that will be hatching in a couple of days. I also am expecting a few in the mail at the same time. Do you think I can sneak them in with the mom. Has anyone done this. Thanx Judy
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    It's a pretty common practice. You are dealing with living animals so you can never tell for sure how it will work, but I've given a broody chicks like that and so have a whole lot of other people.

    There are a lot of different ways you could go about it. The main warning I'll give is that not all eggs hatch exactly on time. You want to make sure she has hatched all the eggs that are going to hatch before you give her chicks she might want to take off the nest. A hen will abandon unhatched eggs if she has chicks old enough to need to find food and water. They can go a few days without food and water, but not forever.

    I've put chicks under a broody at night that was setting on fake eggs. A snake had eaten the real eggs out from under her but I hatched chicks in an incubator. I just slipped the chicks under her about 10:00 at night using very little light. She accepted them no problem.

    I have taken a broody that took her chicks off the nest and put her in an enclosure. I put her four chicks in a cardboard box along with ten other chicks from the incubator and dumped all the chicks in front of her. She took them all.

    I've turned really young chicks loose in front of a broody that had chicks the same age. She took them in.

    As I said, you are dealing with living animals. Some people report that a broody rejected new chicks, either ignoring them or actually tried to kill them. I've never had that experience but anything can happen. Your best bet is probably to put them under her at night with them as young as you can manage. I would not hesitate to try it, but I would be around the next morning to see how it's going.

    Good luck!!!
     
  3. AZ_HenHouse

    AZ_HenHouse Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I agree that you need to make sure all the eggs that are going to hatch have hatched before you give her more so that she won't abandone the rest of the eggs. My broody took two 4 day old chicks with her 5 that hatched without a problem. I slipped them under her after the five had hatched when I saw her start to leave the other eggs (they were all infertile), She didn't have any problems accepting them. However, I tried to add 2 more a few days later and she absolutely refused them. And she will go after them if she sees them. I am raising them now and I can tell you I am not as good as she is [​IMG] Her chicks are now getting curious about them when they are out, but she will chase them if I let her.
     
  4. mtminstrel

    mtminstrel Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 29, 2011
    East Haven, Vt
    Thank you. I was just thinking about putting her and her chicks in a box with the others. I'm glad you mentioned to wait til her's have finished hatching. I wasn't thinking of that. But I do remember that last year as soon as some hatched she was out of there. Excellent. I take it that I can forgo the heat lamp once she's in the box with the chicks, assuming she adopts them?
     
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Her heat lamp never has a power outage. She will take care of them.
     
  6. mtminstrel

    mtminstrel Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 29, 2011
    East Haven, Vt
    thank you Did you slip them in at night or in the day time?
     
  7. calamityfarm

    calamityfarm Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 20, 2012
    Connecticut
    I agree that putting the chicks under her at night is the key. I usually put a chick under and remove an egg at the same time so there is no real difference in the 'amount' she has at any given time. It has worked for me every time. I also do it in complete (or as complete as it can be) dark, and as early in the night as possible. Good luck, Ann
     
  8. Nickichicki

    Nickichicki Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 16, 2012
    Isanti Minnesota
    so Im not sure how to tell if I have a broody hen or not. I am so new at this but I am expecting some fluffy butts in the very near future and I have a hen that guards her eggs and sits on them all the time until I remove them. Should I let her keep them for a few days and then slip the chicks under her as mentioned in the other posts to see if she accepts them...how exactly does this work. Id like it if the hens raised the chicks as they obviously know better than I do! :) Thanks for the input!
     

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