Hen raising single chick, has rejected adoptees. What now?

lizziemt

Chirping
Jun 24, 2016
15
8
57
We had a broody hen, gave her a clutch of eggs and she hatched a single live chick. Maybe the rooster was too young to fertilize eggs, maybe other chickens managed to mess with the broody or eggs too much, probably a multitude of fails with this experiment. Seeing the failure, we got some chicks, but all we could find were about the same age as the chick the hen already had, 3-4 days old. We introduced a barred rock, she pecked it. We tried a salmon favorelle chick, which was the exact same color as her own chick. Confused, she couldn't tell them apart & let the favorelle stay. We tried this in the early evening.

In the night we scooted the rest of the chicks beneath her wings and everything seemed fine. Until late the next morning when I checked and the hen was chasing the adoptees out of the coop and away from her own chick. It's been two days.

The hen has no interest in the adoptees, who have no interest in the crazy chicken that ran after them, reared up and flapped her wings angrily in good broody form. I'm really worried about that single chick, which is why we tried introducing other chicks. They are all coexisting in separate areas that adjoin, so they can hear but not see too much of one another.

Any ideas on how to move forward? We have a small existing flock that we'll have to incorporate all the chicks into. Don't know how to get over hump of Mama not accepting chicks.
 

ChickenCanoe

Crossing the Road
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Nov 23, 2010
31,730
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St. Louis, MO
She'll take care of her chick. She just won't adopt the others.
Move them to a brooder and when they are close to the same size as the other flock, you can introduce them.
 

lizziemt

Chirping
Jun 24, 2016
15
8
57
She'll take care of her chick. She just won't adopt the others.
Move them to a brooder and when they are close to the same size as the other flock, you can introduce them.
Thanks! We have them in a makeshift brooder. We'll have to come up with something more substantial when they reach 3-4 weeks.
 

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