Help Needed for Foster Hen

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by NicolleJean, Jun 10, 2017.

  1. NicolleJean

    NicolleJean Out Of The Brooder

    37
    1
    44
    Oct 15, 2016
    South Jersey
    Hi Everyone,

    My Blue Sumatra has been broody for give or a take a month. I gave her a fake egg because she was "stealing" my other two hen's eggs. I brought home a chick tonight for her to foster and it did not go so well. The chick is less than a week old (only a few little wing feathers on her). Here is what I did and I am hoping I can still make this work. What needs to change?

    - Moved hen into her own little area with chick feed and water.
    - Waited until it was dark out and took her fake egg and tried to place chick near her.
    - The chick ran to the water/feeder and didn't seem too interested in nestling up with mama.
    - Hen started making noises that she makes when we disturb her and then proceeded to peck at chick.

    We moved the chick into a brooder for the night until someone can give us some feedback on how to make this work better. I can't get another chick and don't want this one to be raised alone. Please send some advice!
     
  2. azygous

    azygous True BYC Addict

    10,798
    4,235
    501
    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    Try again. This time, place the chick right under the broody. A little pecking is normal. The chick will let out a squeaky squawk and that's normal. It's how a broody lets a chick knows she's boss and the chick needs to do as told.

    If the pecking goes beyond two or three light pecks, and the broody refuses to allow the chick to get under her, the graft will not take. Don't even try again.

    If it's especially warm, over 70F, the chick may not feel the need to go under the broody. Another reason a broody may not want a chick is because her hormones are waning. The ideal time to graft a foreign chick is between the second and third week of the broody cycle. Another reason is the chick is too old. It should be a few days old. Over a week old, and the broody may not be fooled.
     
  3. clawstar

    clawstar Chillin' With My Peeps

    472
    36
    106
    Jan 1, 2014
    Lake Stevens, WA
    the chick is too old, she is used to brooders and heatlamps and not a broody hen for warmth.
     
  4. NicolleJean

    NicolleJean Out Of The Brooder

    37
    1
    44
    Oct 15, 2016
    South Jersey
    Tried again tonight, the hen was much more accepting but the chick isn't interested. The hen has given a few little pecks as the chick runs by, but the chick is in a corner by herself. My hen hasnt moved or gone after her. Not sure if I should leave her in there or not.
     
  5. azygous

    azygous True BYC Addict

    10,798
    4,235
    501
    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    The only danger is if the hen goes after the chick, and it sounds as if she's past that. I'd just let them alone and see what happens, but keep watch for a good hour before you turn your back on the two.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by