"Fostering" Baby Chicks

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Szolkir, Mar 12, 2013.

  1. Szolkir

    Szolkir New Egg

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    Mar 11, 2013
    This is actually a rather quick question:

    I have a silver-laced wyandotte hen who is particularly motherly/broody and i was wondering if it was a good/bad idea to let her "raise" some "foster" chicks? (The ones I order in) I am going to get more silver-laved Wyandottes so that's what she'd be 'mothering' ideally. Has anyone done this? How about with other fowl such as duckies or goslings or the like?

    Thanks for the input; I hope this is not a silly question. :D
     
  2. brezlynsmom

    brezlynsmom Out Of The Brooder

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    I would give it a try - just monitor closely to make sure she is doing her job!
     
  3. Szolkir

    Szolkir New Egg

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    Mar 11, 2013
    My only fear is that she wouldn't take to them and peck at/hurt them - so monitoring is the answer then, I think as you said.
     
  4. Summerlove

    Summerlove Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I gave some 3 day old chicks to my silkie. I put them under her during the night. They are almost 4 weeks now doing great!
     
  5. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Overrun With Chickens

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    If she's been broody for a while, she'll probably gladly take them. One of my Silkie hens is currently raising 6 chicks from TSC. Shed been sitting on infertile eggs and quite grumpily refusing my attempts to break her for nearly 2 months. I went to TSC last week for a new heat lamp and saw the chick bins. In a last ditch effort to get her to stop sitting and start eating, I bought some bantams.
    I brought the peeping box into the hen house in broad daylight. She excitedly jumped off those eggs and sat herself next to the feeder and waterer like she new what was up. I gave her each chick one at a time and she eagerly tried to roll them under herself like they were eggs :lau She's been enjoying them immensely since that day. I watched her closely the first day, but after that I figured everyone was just fine, and they are. Good luck!
    Nikki
     
  6. Summerlove

    Summerlove Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aww too cute
     
  7. Squeaky McMurdo

    Squeaky McMurdo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It's official. I need a Silky.
     
  8. Summerlove

    Summerlove Chillin' With My Peeps

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  9. Juloca

    Juloca New Egg

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    We just did this with great success with our broody Buff Orpington, Mrs. Feathers. I let her sit on her eggs for about three weeks. It was actually two eggs from two of our other hens, but she didn't care. The day before we got our chicks, I set up a rabbit pen in our garage and then moved Mrs. F in. My son carried her and I carried her nest with her eggs at the same time. She went right back on her eggs. The next day, we picked up a 5 day old chick (barred rock) and two 3-day old chicks (cochin and wyandotte). I carried them in their box into the garage, where they were putting up quite the noise, so Mrs. F knew I had chicks. I wasn't hiding them and it was midday. I put them one at a time underneath her, and then pulled out her eggs. That was that. The chicks immediately piped down, and she immediately tucked them in underneath her. I was a little worried that the 5 day one was too old, but she was fine with it.

    Over the next month, she kept very good care of them. I did not have to worry constantly about the temperature or teaching them to find the food and water. When they were 5-6 weeks old, I put them out in the yard with our other 4 hens. Only one attempted to be aggressive to the chicks but Mrs. F kicked her and then kicked all the other hens for good measure. Nobody bothered the chicks after that. A week later, when the chicks could get up the ramp to the coop by themselves, I moved the family in. They have been totally fine from day one. Mrs. F quit sitting on them after a few days in the coop but they are still sleeping in the nest and she takes the roosting spot closest to the nest. She is intervening less and less between the one aggressive hen and the chicks but she still helps them if they need it. Much, much easier integration than any other.

    The chicks are now 8 weeks old. They are so tame and friendly and just seem less neurotic. I think partly why it worked out so well was because Mrs. F was (and is) the dominant hen in the flock. Not only was it much easier on me but it was just so fun to watch!
     
  10. Squeaky McMurdo

    Squeaky McMurdo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I just got two bantam cochin chick for their broody reputation :D
     

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