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Grafting babies to a broody hen?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by chickenhorsefarm, Feb 23, 2007.

  1. chickenhorsefarm

    chickenhorsefarm New Egg

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    Feb 19, 2007
    Floyd, VA
    We haven't seen this addressed so I thought I'd ask under a new topic. We have a hen who we are thinking of tricking into raising babies for us we order. Our plan is to get her broody and let her set on some ceramic eggs (she does go broody on these eggs when we would leave them out). When close to 21 days we are going to place the order for the chicks and then set them under her or make her leave the nest and place the babies and some egg shells ed open in the nest. In my mind, this should work as I've seen a post by someone that had a chicken that adopted a tray from the incubator after she sat on two eggs and hatched them out. Also, our chicken can pretty reliably go broody and if not, we figure we'll raise the babies ourselves with heat lamps, etc.

    Anyone tried this?
    Greg and Robyn
     
  2. chickbea

    chickbea Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 18, 2007
    Vermont
    I've never done it myself, but I pondered it recently (I ended up putting fertilized eggs under a broody - that was fun and easy). If I was going to try it with live chicks, the advice I got from an old Vermont farm lady was to put the babies under the surrogate at night, so she can hear them before she can see them. Sound is how chicks and moms bond. In fact, hens start chatting with their babies while the chicks are still in the eggs! I'd also keep a very close eye on them the first day.
     
  3. robin416

    robin416 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 6, 2007
    Or it might turn out like the hen I have now. She adopted everything in sight that wasn't a full grown chicken. In her little family she has her two week old, someone else's one week olds and a single that a Mom abandoned. She gathered them all in and is happy with them all.
     
  4. mudhen

    mudhen confidently clueless

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    Jan 15, 2007
    Shepherdstown, WV
    I just tried the same thing today!
    Here is a shot of the first meeting, later on, she managed to get two chicks under her and happily kept them warm while the others took their naps under the light.
    I introduced her to the two little ones in her cage, fed a little mix of their feeds and she watched them eat, joined them, then showed them where the water was and how to drink! At first they were astounded as to her size, but after a couple of minutes they all were one big happy family. Tomorrow I'll introduce a few more to her...
    Anyway, she has turned out to be really terrific at this.
    Sorry for dark photo:
    [​IMG]
     
  5. mudhen

    mudhen confidently clueless

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    Jan 15, 2007
    Shepherdstown, WV
    here she is today with three of the 7-day old chicks:
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2007
  6. CarriBrown

    CarriBrown Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    Great! I'm glad it worked. She sure is keeping an eye on them in that first pictures!
     
  7. robin416

    robin416 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 6, 2007
    Mudhen, I loved the pics. It looks like my room in here with all of the bird stuff. Until now I thought I was the only one with so much sqaure footage taken up by this & that for the birds in the house. Now I don't feel so funny about it.
     
  8. mudhen

    mudhen confidently clueless

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    Jan 15, 2007
    Shepherdstown, WV
    I am sure we are not alone!!! [​IMG]
     
  9. Citychick

    Citychick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 31, 2007
    My upstairs bathroom is completelly taken over as it is the warmest room in the house. Hubby not so thrilled! Two cages stacked with two and three week olds. And across from that I have quail and 4 chicks a couple of days old plus one duckling.[​IMG] Quite the assortment! I really need to cut myself off. Lol! You guys aren't kidding when you say it's addictive!
     
  10. soonerdog

    soonerdog Chillin' With My Peeps

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG] I told you!!! But isn't it fun? Johnny
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2007

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