foster hen

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by chickenlover4444, Jul 1, 2011.

  1. chickenlover4444

    chickenlover4444 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 1, 2011
    Hi, I am new at raising chickens in my backyard. I have only one hen left and she recently is now broody. I would really love for her not to be lonely anymore and I was wondering what would be best. Should I get more chicks for her to foster or should I get more full grown hens to keep her company? One other questions is how long do hens stay broody? I need to know how long I have to convince my parents to get me more chicks or chickens [​IMG]
     
  2. Tiss

    Tiss Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 8, 2010
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    I've heard people on here say that some will sit up to 6 weeks. Remember that it will take her 3 weeks just to hatch the eggs. If you can find any day-old chicks where you live, you can put them under her at night after she's been broody a couple of weeks. Most hens will wake up and think their eggs hatched. If you can't find any day-old chicks around there, you have a couple weeks to get her hatching eggs, but the sooner the better!

    I think that since she's broody anyway, it would be easier for you to get her eggs or chicks than to try to introduce a new hen. My girls usually get along great but my broodies are just plain nasty and won't let any others near them. That wouldn't bode well for a new chicken relationship.

    Chickens are social animals and it's never a good idea to have only one. Your hen definitely needs a friend. Good luck with you parents.
     
  3. chickenlover4444

    chickenlover4444 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 1, 2011
    Thanks [​IMG] But I was wondering if I were to put some chicks under her at night would they have to be day olds or could they be older chicks like week olds?
     
  4. mmaddie's mom

    mmaddie's mom Chillin' With My Peeps

    1-2 days old... older and I have found it doesn't work... no bonding happened early enough. Not only does she need to accept them but they need to accept and listen to her... younger the better.
     
  5. chickenlover4444

    chickenlover4444 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 1, 2011
    Ok thanks [​IMG]
     
  6. GardeNerd

    GardeNerd Chillin' With My Peeps

    I agree, the chicks have to be really young. My broody Cochins raise foster babies all the time, but the one time I tried 8 day old chicks, it didn't work. The babies wanted to bond to the hen and try to cuddle up to her, but the hen rejected the chicks and pecked them mercilessly until I took them away. Every other time, with two or three day old chicks shipped from a hatchery, the mamas accepted the babies easily. The hens apparently know if the chicks are newly hatched or not.

    I had a broody hen sit for almost 8 weeks. If it was me, I would let the hen raise her new flock mates from eggs or foster chicks.
     
  7. chickenlover4444

    chickenlover4444 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 1, 2011
    ok thank you, all of these answers helped me a lot [​IMG]
     

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