Hen adopted 4 week old chicks


In the Brooder
8 Years
Oct 24, 2011
South Central South Dakota
During the process of revising a chicken coop, I had my 13 chicks, about 4 weeks old, escape their pen. Much to my surprise, a hen has adopted them. She has literally taken them under her wing. I don't know if this is normal or not, but I have let her have them, maybe they will be smarter chicks. Could one presume this hen would make a good brood hen after these chicks get (weaned)?


8 Years
Jun 5, 2011
It is not at all unusual for a hen that is broody, or even thinking about going broody to adopt stray chicks. Most likely she will stick with them and raise them right up till they are ready to join the flock in full adult status. It is VERY likely that she will make an exceptional mother later as her mothering genes appear to to be alive and well. Many people will offer newly hatched chicks to a broody hen (if they have one) before putting them in a brooder just because mama knows her job better than any machine does. Although not all hens will adopt chicks, and even those that have in the past might not do it next time.

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