How does a mother hen behave?


9 Years
Mar 28, 2010
The Mythical State of Jefferson
We are trying to graft 3 chicks to a broody. We rec'd the chicks from the hatchery yesterday. Last night, I tried to put them under her. All looked well. I stayed up until about 3 am watching. When I got up at 7am, 2 were not under her, huddled in a corner. The 3rd was still under her, but when ever it came out, she "pecked" at it until it went back under.

I had no choice in leaving for several hours today, so I put all 3 chicks in a brooder. I am thinking that I will try again tonight. Mama is still trying to sit. Do mamas usually peck at their chicks to get them back under them? Or should I give up on this?
It's not sounding too good.
If two were run off and the third was pecked when it appeared she's probably not going to accept them.
That doesn't sound right to me either.

When I gave each of my broodies store bought chicks, they both immediately tucked the new chicks under them and have been great mothers ever since. One had no eggs to hatch and one had a single chick five days old when I added the new ones.
Definitely not right. My hen hatched 3 chicks of her own and I gave her 6 from the incubator. I just placed them in front of her. She raised herself up and spread her wings. The chicks scurried under. Since then the ones she hatched herself and the ones from the incubator have been indistinguishable.

If she is still showing no real mothering signs, remove them and put her out with your other hens.

Good Luck.

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