Giving chicks to a broody hen?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Chicks Galore3, Jan 29, 2015.

  1. Chicks Galore3

    Chicks Galore3 Artistic Bird Nut Premium Member

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    I won't be getting chicks for awhile yet, but I can't help but get excited about it. :) I usually have at least 2 or 3 broodies and wondered if I could use them as foster mommas. I am going to get 10 chicks from my TSC on March 7th and am wondering if I can smuggle them under her. I've been looking up different threads here and think I get the gist of it. You slip the chicks under the broody hen at night, and make sure to check on them early in the morning to make sure they are accepted. Right? I have a couple questions though...Is March too cold (In north Iowa) to have a hen and chicks out in the coop? Also, could 1 hen manage ten chicks? Is there a way to "make" a hen broody? (Or should I say, encourage?) I heard that aluminum foil helps them get broody. Also. if I do get a broody hen, should I separate her from the others before I add the chicks?
     
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    I've never had a broody hen refuse foster chicks using the system that you describe. I've only fostered chicks to hens that have been setting a minimum of 2 weeks. Provided with a dry draft free place the chicks should do fine. I have had hens raise chicks in the NJ winters where temperatures are frequently in the 20's. A full sized hen should be readily capable of brooding 10 chicks in the cold weather and far more under warmer circumstances. Aluminum foil only works if you make little hats out of it. [​IMG] Given the time of year and possible temperature fluctuations, I would separate the hen from the flock at least until the chicks start to feather out. Good luck, and have fun.
     
  3. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    The aluminum foil thing was an April fool's joke.
     
  4. Chicks Galore3

    Chicks Galore3 Artistic Bird Nut Premium Member

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    Oh boy, love being gullible. XD Any other ways to help a hen be broody?
     
  5. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    You could put a bunch of fake, or not so fake eggs in a nest box, and leave them... It might work just as well as the aluminum foil.
     

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