Grafting chicks

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by roseygirl, Nov 20, 2014.

  1. roseygirl

    roseygirl Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 7, 2014
    Three Rivers, CA
    Hey everybody,

    So my girlfriend and I hatched 8 eggs 2 and a half weeks ago. We are wondering what to do with them next. We already have 2 coops with adult hens that wouldnt really work. I am going to fix up an old chicken tractor and use that, with a heat lamp. Then my girlfriend starts a new project near a junkyard and there are 2 mother hens foraging about with 7 chicks each, exactly the same size as our chicks. She talked to the owner of the junkyard and he never feeds them. So not only are they good broody hens they are excellent foragers. We have been looking for some hens who will be good mothers and teach our future chicks to forage.

    My question is: should we grab the mother and chicks and bring them home, and try to graft our chicks to her?

    Or should we just take her, let the other mother adopt her chicks and try to graft our chicks onto her at home. That seems kind of cruel.

    I don't have much experience with broody hens but am looking at creating a commercial pastured flock for eggs and these are the traits I am looking for My mama hens to cut down on food costs. Probably wouldn't breed her too much because I don't want a lot of broody hens just a few to incubate eggs for me and teach chicks to forage.

    Thanks!
     
  2. roseygirl

    roseygirl Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 7, 2014
    Three Rivers, CA
    I should say that we have permission from junkyard man
     
  3. enola

    enola Overrun With Chickens

    Broody hens accept chicks when they are still on the nest. If you try to "graft" your chicks the hens will more than likely kill them if you have them confined. If they are not confined, the hens will peck the chicks to drive them away. Leaving them vulnerable to predators.
     
  4. roseygirl

    roseygirl Out Of The Brooder

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    26
    Oct 7, 2014
    Three Rivers, CA
    Thanks. Sounds like a bad idea. I was hoping to find them a mother
     
  5. enola

    enola Overrun With Chickens

    You will be their mother until the are grown.
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    It would be a rare hen indeed who would accept strange 2+ week old chicks, especially after being moved to a strange environment. From your description I'd hazard they have some game blood, which makes me think they're not so warm and fuzzy mommas like say a silkie. I'd leave those mommas and their babies alone, or catch them all and include them in your flock.
     

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