hatched chicks and boughten chicks

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Mrs. K

Crossing the Road
14 Years
Nov 12, 2009
western South Dakota
My butter is setting on eggs, and they are due to hatch June 7. I only put 9 eggs under her ( just heard this wives tail, that one should put odd number of eggs under a hen, as in 9 or 11, but not 10 or 12)
Last year I did put 16 under her, but some did not hatch, so I went with a smaller number this time because of that, and because I want some breeds of chicks, that I could not get eggs for.

So I called my feed store, cause it is getting late in the season here. I would like to add a dozen more chicks. Butter is an expereinced mother hen, she raised a fine brood for me last year. I think she could easily raise 20 chicks.

The problem, the store gets their last order of chicks on Jun 3, those chicks hatched on Jun 1. That will very nearly make them a week older than my own chicks. And I am beginning to worry that it will not work. What do you think? I would not put them with her until her own hatch.

I live in SD, and I have been watching the egg sales on this board, but the closest I have found is Iowa. And I have heard so many horror stories of shipped eggs not hatching, and I am sure that distance will make it worse. But what about live chicks? How old are chicks when they get to you, and how well do they ship, again distance I think would make it worse.

Or do you think if I slip the 6 day old chicks under her, when she is done hatching in the dark of night, that it will work?
The chicks I've ordered from McMurray have been 3 days old when I received them. At 3 days, you can expect them to start drinking and eating. I've heard that if the chicks are all the same age, the mother hen will adopt them. But I'd advise against putting the chicks under her early, she might think that her's have hatched, and could abandon the nest. However, if she's the type to sit and sit and sit til everything has hatched, feel free to do that. I've had a hen who's done that; sat an extra week and a half to hatch out some eggs she sneaked.

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