Help,,, new Momma Hen question


5 Years
Jul 23, 2014
Quincy, IL
This is my first hatch and I am a wreck! One of my Buff Orpington had been broody for months so I gave her a few eggs to hatch. She did great and two of three hatched. One died today and the remaining is three days old. I picked up two seven day old chicks from a friend and planned to sneak them under her tonight, here is where my concern starts. When i went to check on her today she seemed to become agitated with me and started moving in a circle with the baby under her.She stepped on it several times. I am so dang afraid she will squish it and now I am worried about adding the new babies. Thoughts? I appreciate any assistance!!!!
Howdy Raisingpeeps

I do wish I had a simple answer for you but unfortunately I do not as there are so many variables.

As it is your first hatch, I am guessing that it is also hers? Not knowing what kind of a mumma she is is just one of the variables. Some mummas will take any new babies they can get their wings on while others not so much.

Do you know why the first chick died? Could she have squashed it?

I actually have no personal experience with introducing chicks to a broody hen, but I have had a few hatches with broodies.

Me, personally, with a first time mumma, as she has one chick to raise, I would leave her with that chick, see how she goes. If I had a broody mumma whose hatched chicks all died, I would definitely try introducing some 1-2 day olds.

Mumma hens and chicks bond early on in the piece and I personally believe this bond is created days before they hatch while they are still in the eggs. My broodies definitely increase their ‘talking’ to the eggs prior to hatching.

Not only are the 7 days old chicks possibly at risk of her attacking them, as the bond has not been formed, they may be afraid of her.

But, if she is one of those wonderful mummas who will accept anyone and anything, it may work out.

As I said, too many variables and this basically comes down to whether you want to give it a go or not. You may have a happy ending but you will also have to be prepared and have a Plan B.

Hopefully someone else may chime in with some good advice and personal experience with a success story.

Please let us know what you decide and how you go.
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The baby died when another hen grabbed it while mama wasn't looking. I was not there when it happened but came out later and witnessed two hens attempting this with the second baby. Momma and baby have since been completely separated from the flock.
Hey Raisingpeeps yeah, I learnt the hard way that my mummas and bubs need to be separated from the flock.

Some flocks are fine with little ones and others are not .. squabbling over nest boxes is the reason I keep mine separated now.
It's so dang sad. They were already separated and in a dog kennel but there was a crack big enough to drag the baby through. They are now in my grow out coop.
Yeah I love my gals and they are my spoiled feathered babies but sometimes they can be what we see as mean, but they are just being chickens and doing what chickens do .. if it is small and moves, attack first, ask questions later!
We snuck the babies in last night. Momma was clucking to them all night- yes I kept checking. They are eating and drinking with her this morning- I was out there at 5am so I could be there when they woke up. They are hanging out with her original baby and all seems well. Ugh!!!! Praying!!!!

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