Giving Broody Baby Chicks?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by babigyrl22, Sep 27, 2011.

  1. babigyrl22

    babigyrl22 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 29, 2011
    Caledonia
    I have day-old chicks coming my way today. What's the best for them? Here is my senario:

    1. Broody Hen #1: Silkie, still in the coop, and has been broody for a week. (Has she not been brooding long enough to sneak the chicks under her?)

    2. Broody Hen #1: Bantam cochin, in brooding hutch, sitting on 4 marans eggs due to hatch this Thursday. (Can I sneak the chicks under her? Wait until her eggs hatch first?)

    What to do?
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    Northwest Arkansas
    There are no guarantees with what will or will not work, just things that might work. People have reported giving chicks to a hen that has been broody for only two days and it worked. People have had failures when the hen was broody for three or four weeks. It just depends on the individual hen.

    The problem with waiting for the Cochin to hatch is that the chicks will probably be about 4 to 6 days old (depending on how old they are today) before they Cochin finishes the hatch and brings hers off the nest. The ones coming will need to eat and drink before the ones she hatches are ready. It might work out, but then it might not. And the Cochin may or may not accept chicks that old. The younger they are, the more likely they are to bond or imprint.

    I don't know how many chicks you are getting and whether one hen can mother them all. I like for the hen to be able to cover all of them for the first week or so, but after that I don't think it is that critical. They will take turns going under to warm up.

    Have you considered giving the Cochin's eggs to the Silkie to hatch and giving the new chicks to the Cochin? There are several scenarios that might work, but if the number of chicks works out, I think this gives you the best chance of success.
     
  3. babigyrl22

    babigyrl22 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 29, 2011
    Caledonia
    The chicks were hatched yesterday and there are just two of them.

    I didn't even think about giving the cochin's eggs to the silkie. The eggs are at day 19. Do you think the silkie would suspect fowl play when they hatch in 2 days? [​IMG]
     
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    I don't guarantee success or failure, but it is what I'd do.
     
  5. I-Have-Happy-Hens

    I-Have-Happy-Hens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 16, 2010
    Carrboro, NC
    I would give the new chicks to the silkies and let the cochin hatch the eggs she is already on.
     
  6. SJensen

    SJensen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 29, 2009
    South Surrey
    Whichever way you decide, do it quick before the chicks get bigger. Also I would do it after dark, then check in the morning to make sure she's accepting them.
     
  7. wbruder17

    wbruder17 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 7, 2010
    Portland, OR
    My silkie will go broody whenever I give her eggs and will take chickies whenever she is broody. She doesn't seem to care how long she's been broody, but I agree that it depends on the bird. She has a bantam cochin buddy who "goes along for the ride" every time, as the silkie always steals her eggs and chicks, but the cochin doesn't seem to notiice, as long as she can be in there with the Silkie and either eggs or chicks. She will brood for 3 weeks with no eggs, just to be in there with the silkie. Silkie is Mama, and cochin is Aunt Lou.

    Here they are with their last batch of chickies.....this time it was quail! Didn't matter at all to them.

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/uploads/59865_2011-08-17_17-24-06_687.jpg
     

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