Fostering Day olds on Broody with fake eggs??

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by lindsay297, Jan 28, 2013.

  1. lindsay297

    lindsay297 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 29, 2012
    Petawawa, Ontario
    Can it be done?? I have two girls that are broody and I am wondering if I can order day old chicks (sexed as I cant have roosters) and then "foster" them on to a broody that has had say plastic eggs under her for a few weeks?? This would be a great thing if I can do it.

    My thought would be to order the days olds and then trade the eggs for chicks say the night they arrive. I have looked on here and some say its possible?? Anyone want to give me some info on their experience with this??
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    Fostering of chicks onto broody hens is a relatively easy and successful practice. The thing that concerns me about doing so with shipped chicks is that they will generally reach you in a somewhat stressed condition that requires immediate attention. Perhaps if you rehydrate them and get them to eat something prior to putting them under the broody?
  3. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

    Jun 28, 2011
    Rep of Ireland
    X2 Sourland's advice. You can give chicks to broody hens to adopt and this is usually easier done at night when they are sleepy. Remove the eggs and replace them with the chicks and stand-by in the morning to see how the hens react. Most of the time the hens will happily accept the chicks.
  4. lindsay297

    lindsay297 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 29, 2012
    Petawawa, Ontario
    Thank you for your advice. I am going to look into when I might be able to get my babes and go from there. Glad to hear that it is possible and that I can go with this though!!

    Thanks again, would love to hear from anyone else that might have some input!!
  5. dorklingmomma

    dorklingmomma Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 23, 2013
    citrus county
    i did it in day light just put a chick in and she accepted her right away
  6. ducksinarow

    ducksinarow Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 12, 2011
    Some hatcheries put growgel with the chicks they ship for a fee. If they do this they might not arrive as dehydrated and stressed. Metzer does this.
  7. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    It usually works okay, but just be aware she may reject the chicks and you'll have to brood them. Best to do it at night, cause chickens are stupid when they sleep (not that they're brain trusts any other time!). Watch her in the morning and see how she does. Be aware she may not want to come off the nest for a day or two, cause in her mind she might still have eggs that haven't hatched. If you have food and water nearby the chicks will usually find it, or you can dip their beaks in the water if you're concerned. Chances are she'll be thrilled to have babies!
  8. Alli Lea

    Alli Lea Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 19, 2013
    Woodland, CA
    Do you have a hen that regularly goes broody? How do you plan to ensure that you have a broody hen at the right time? That is my biggest concern right now....
  9. jojomojo

    jojomojo Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 12, 2009
    NW New Mexico
    I just did this last night with chicks I picked up from TSC (was told they were most likely hatched the day before, so they were still very young). My usually gentle loving cochin (even while broody) became instantly protective and doesn't care for my hands to be anywhere near HER babies now lol She has been broody for a little over a month now. My other broody chicken just hatched out a couple of chicks almost 2 weeks ago and the cochin has been clucking to them from her nest. I think she was REALLY ready to mother some babies :)
    You can leave a clutch of fake eggs in a nest to encourage it (my cochin was sitting on 4 wooden eggs & a golf ball lol). Its a hormonal thing though, and some breeds just don't go broody. Once a hen goes broody, let her keep her fake eggs until you have chicks to slip under her. If she's determined to raise some babies, she'll sit on fake eggs for a long time (although, you'll want to make sure not to the detriment of her health...make sure she's eating & drinking good the whole time). I don't know if there is a minimum amount of time you want a hen sitting before giving her chicks though.
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2013
    1 person likes this.
  10. lindsay297

    lindsay297 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 29, 2012
    Petawawa, Ontario
    As i had said at the time of the original post I had broody's at that time!! It all worked out great and I now have 5 very healthy Orphington Chicks!!

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