I want to order some chicks this spring, to replace losses. I really dont want a box of chicks in my house again. If I have a broody hen and let her set for 2+ weeks can I sneek some day old hatchery chicks under and be successful?
I think it would definately work. At night is best, as soon as she hears the cheeping chicks, she'll probably perk up and make those mama-hen noises. Tuck a few under her and grab a few fake eggs, then tuck the rest under her, getting the rest of the eggs. How many chicks do you plan to give her?
What kind of chicken is your broody? I have Silkies and they're really laid back - they'll adopt anything.
Be certain that it is late at night and very very dark before you put the chicks under her. I have done this before too early in the evening when the hen was not truly good and asleep. It was desasterous! She pecked the babies to death in a matter of minutes. I was devestated! I have had luck however by using the late night method and being very gentle when adding the babies so as not to rouse the hen any more than possible.
We successfully did it, and with a hen who hadn't been sitting for long and had just been moved to a friend's house (he hatched his own, but then didn't have a suitable brooder, lol, so freaked and asked to borrow one of our girls). We did it at night too. As the other's say, either you'll have a happy mama or no chicks by morning!