How do I give new chicks to a broody (?) Hen

GardenJen77

Songster
Mar 23, 2017
139
137
157
Central Michigan, USA
We have a hen that acts broody, and sits on the nest most of the time, and is very defensive of the nest and eggs under her. We are thinking about using her to raise chicks we buy at our local farm store. How should we go about doing this?


(Posting again since my other thread dissappeared)
 

lazy gardener

Crossing the Road
7 Years
Nov 7, 2012
27,615
27,066
917
CENTRAL MAINE zone 4B
Is she on the nest day and night? If so, I'd try moving her and her nest to a safe spot that you can block off so the rest of the flock does not have access to her or her nest, or her eventual babies. If she does not break her broodiness from the move, you can then substitute day old chicks for her eggs. Most people do so at night. But, I might be inclined to do so during the day so I can monitor her reaction. Some hens are great setters, but then abandon or kill the chicks.
 

sóley

Songster
Feb 4, 2018
299
319
136
I let her have some egg and let her sit on them for a wile.
then I let her hear the chicks calling so she think the egg where about to hatch.

then after few minutes I turned of the lights and took her eggs and but the chicks under her instead......I left the light's tured off over the night.

then in the morning I turned the lights on to se how she's liked her new hatch and she was so good and happy mother :love
 

GardenJen77

Songster
Mar 23, 2017
139
137
157
Central Michigan, USA
Is she on the nest day and night? If so, I'd try moving her and her nest to a safe spot that you can block off so the rest of the flock does not have access to her or her nest, or her eventual babies. If she does not break her broodiness from the move, you can then substitute day old chicks for her eggs. Most people do so at night. But, I might be inclined to do so during the day so I can monitor her reaction. Some hens are great setters, but then abandon or kill the chicks.
She doesn't sit on them ALL the time, most of the time. Husband has seen her out and about for a bit, then right back on the nest. Pretty sure she stays put there over night. Will try moving her and see if that changes anything.
 

GardenJen77

Songster
Mar 23, 2017
139
137
157
Central Michigan, USA
I let her have some egg and let her sit on them for a wile.
then I let her hear the chicks calling so she think the egg where about to hatch.

then after few minutes I turned of the lights and took her eggs and but the chicks under her instead......I left the light's tured off over the night.

then in the morning I turned the lights on to se how she's liked her new hatch and she was so good and happy mother :love
Sounds like a neat idea.
 

bobbi-j

Enabler
11 Years
Mar 15, 2010
15,898
33,246
1,092
On the MN prairie.
She doesn't sit on them ALL the time, most of the time. Husband has seen her out and about for a bit, then right back on the nest. Pretty sure she stays put there over night. Will try moving her and see if that changes anything.
When I move mine, I do it at night with as little fuss and light as possible. A broody will get up once or twice a day to eat, drink, dust bathe and poop. If she's on the nest day and night, I think it's safe to say she's broody.
 

Birdinhand

Crowing
May 23, 2016
1,113
1,764
277
Pacific Northwest
if she is committed, has been sitting for a good week, only leaves the nest for a half hour or so, about once a day, stays on the nest over night, then throw some golf balls or some infertile eggs or fake eggs under her and let her sit for about 20 days. to prepare for adding chicks I would ask around and find out when the local stores get their shipments, it's usually on the same day each week. when you are ready, set up a brooder for the chicks with food and water to get them nourished and through the day that you pick them up. try and get the chicks the day they arrive at the store so they are as close to their hatch date as possible, if they grow too big, you risk them not bonding or the hen rejecting them. then that night, after it's nice and dark, swap out the eggs for the chicks, just tuck them under her wings. her heat will be the thing that keeps them sticking close and if all goes well, the bond will take and the hen will think they hatched under her. within a day or so she will start venturing out with them, take them to the food and water and start scratching around and showing them the ropes... it's one of the cutest damn things you'll ever see!
 

GardenJen77

Songster
Mar 23, 2017
139
137
157
Central Michigan, USA
if she is committed, has been sitting for a good week, only leaves the nest for a half hour or so, about once a day, stays on the nest over night, then throw some golf balls or some infertile eggs or fake eggs under her and let her sit for about 20 days. to prepare for adding chicks I would ask around and find out when the local stores get their shipments, it's usually on the same day each week. when you are ready, set up a brooder for the chicks with food and water to get them nourished and through the day that you pick them up. try and get the chicks the day they arrive at the store so they are as close to their hatch date as possible, if they grow too big, you risk them not bonding or the hen rejecting them. then that night, after it's nice and dark, swap out the eggs for the chicks, just tuck them under her wings. her heat will be the thing that keeps them sticking close and if all goes well, the bond will take and the hen will think they hatched under her. within a day or so she will start venturing out with them, take them to the food and water and start scratching around and showing them the ropes... it's one of the cutest damn things you'll ever see!
The thing is, she is mean when you reach under her she pecks the dickens out of you.
 

Birdinhand

Crowing
May 23, 2016
1,113
1,764
277
Pacific Northwest
here are some shots of our broody Daisy, fostering a mix for our neighbor and another friends new coops. She's been doing a great job. today I let them out for a few minutes to gobble up some worms!
IMG_0742.jpg
IMG_0741.jpg
 

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