Getting day olds in a few weeks...

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by PADeutzguy, Feb 5, 2017.

  1. PADeutzguy

    PADeutzguy Just Hatched

    Jun 11, 2016
    Southwest Pennsylvania
    This may be a silly question, but I'm getting some day old's in 2 weeks. I have a very tame and friendly Buff Orphington hen, she's about 8 months old, never been broody. What would happen if I put her in the brooder with the day olds? Would she hurt them or begin to mother them?

    Honey as the kids call her is by far the nicest chicken we have, likes to be held, hangs out in the house with her diaper on, etc. The barred rocks and Dominique I got, I can't say the same for. We want to raise up these new chicks to be like Honey, and thought no better way than to have her raise them.

    I'd bring her in the garage and in the brooder a day or so before the chicks arrive, obviously we won't let the babies near the existing flock.

    All my current birds came from hatcheries, and were vaccinated and no one is showing any signs of distress, well an occasional sneeze from the group.

    Will she take to them or just kill them? I'm sure a lot of observation on my part at first, or is it just a bad idea?

    Some of the chicks are Lavender Orphington, and very very expensive, so they won't be involved in this little experiment, unless it goes very well. I'm getting 6 more Buffs and some broilers and I think some barred rocks, etc.

    Last year I got my first chickens, so this is my first year with adult hens and new chicks. I so wish I'd get a broody hen of the Barred Rocks and BO's I have now, as I have both types of roosters. What makes them go broody? Time of year?

    Thanks so much!
  2. LadyVictorian

    LadyVictorian Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 22, 2016
    If she hadn't gone broody yet then she likely won't take them. It's best to have a broody hen look after little chicks otherwise they will just peck at them. I have read of people putting broody hens on fake eggs and when the new chicks arrive sticking them under her when she is sleeping or falling asleep or else she might still just see them as intruders. I personally wouldn't trust an adult hen around one day old chicks. Sometimes you get the rare animal who doesn't care but that tends to be rare.
  3. KeyFlock

    KeyFlock Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 22, 2015
    x2 People will have broody hens sit on fake or unfertilized eggs and replace them with chicks during the night, but as far as I know this only works for broodies. If she isn't already broody, then she most likely won't be kind to the chicks.
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Broodiness is caused by certain hormones, some birds go broody others never do.
    Time of year has little to do with it, tho spring/summer may be more likely.
    Putting day old chicks under a hen that has been broody for 2-3 weeks can work well, other times not so much.
    No, if she's not broody she will not likely mother them and may try to kill them.

    Read up on integration..... BYC advanced search>titles only>integration
    This is good place to start reading, tho some info is outdated IMO:

    Brooding meat broiler chicks with layer chicks can cause some complications...might want to research that.

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