How long does a broody need to set before she will adopt chicks??

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by JLS, Feb 14, 2011.

  1. JLS

    JLS Love my feathered babies!

    May 29, 2009
    My Coop
    One of my Easter Eggers is spending a lot of time on the nest. So set up a large bin and put in it a nest box with a couple golf balls, food and water. I originally wanted to do this with my Silkie but she's not in the mood [​IMG] To my surprise the EE went straight for the nest and has remained there [​IMG].

    TSC is starting to get chicks in the first week of March. Seems a bit early for shiping chicks to Maine but it is what it is. My questsion is : How long does the EE need to set before I can slip some chicks under her?? Does it need to be the full 21 days?
  2. mlyon

    mlyon Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 17, 2010
    I want to know the answer to that too!
  3. Wendy'sChicksRock

    Wendy'sChicksRock Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 8, 2010
    Oakland county ,MI
    I'd say as close to "full term " as you can get!! [​IMG]
    then sneek them in at night when its dark !
  4. suebee

    suebee Speaks Silkie Fluently

    Apr 1, 2007
    N. Carolina
    I agree with Wendy. At LEAST 2 weeks.
  5. JLS

    JLS Love my feathered babies!

    May 29, 2009
    My Coop
    Thanks for the quick responses!! Ok I will wait until she's completely broody and then a couple more weeks (I guess that means about 20 days). It is sooo hard to wait [​IMG] I am sure that TSC will continue to get chicks delivered regularly right through April. I sure hope so.
  6. tomjoad

    tomjoad Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 22, 2010
    Norman, OK
    I've done it a couple of times with my black silkie hen. I haven't ever done it where I let her sit the dummy eggs over a week. So, both times I've done it have been at about seven days, both successful.

    One time I got greedy and tried to place a couple of more chicks the second night. She didn't accept them.

    I think most important is to get her at night, when she is not normally disposed to get up. By morning she's hooked.

    Its funny to see this because I was planning on going to the feed store tomorrow and getting about 6 or 7 chicks. I went out today to move the hen and her eggs to a new location and when I re-placed the hen, she was more lethargic than I expected. But, she has been sitting a week in freezing, odd weather. Today it seems like it must have been in the 60's.

    Anyway, she's tough. I'll check her tomorrow and, if she's better, I'll bring home some babies tomorrow. I'm looking to swipe all the frizzles they have, too.

    This issue, like many, seems to depend on your personal chicken, and they are all so different.
  7. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Chicken Obsessed

    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    slipping in the chicks is one of the funnest things I have ever done. Mine was a bit cranky even at night. I did not see how I was going to lift her up, put a chick under her, without getting me and the chick pecked hard. So I decided I would put them all on her back, then lift her up, and kind of shake the chicks underneath her. But that didn't happen, I put one on her back and he just dove down into the warmth, like he was being sucked into a bottomless pit. Immediately her voice changed, and she began clucking to them, almost purring.

    A great deal of fun, I am praying again for a broody! MrsK
  8. dandelionheart

    dandelionheart Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 15, 2010
    Lafayette, Indiana
    Just out of curiousity (because I've been "veto'd") when you do this sneaking in of babies, is the hen in her regular egg/nest box with the rest of the girls and then after she accepts you move her, or is she kept seperate with just the "eggs" she has? How to you maintain the broody when moving her if so? Or do you just keep the mama & chicks in with everybody and she protects them adequately (like you see in illustrations of farm life).
  9. PeepsInc

    PeepsInc Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 18, 2009
    NY Tri State region
    I don't think that your idea will work. The problem will be,that the chicks will be to old & will know that the hen is not their mother. Then they will sit in the corner chirping because their afraid of the hen. Then she'll most likely kill them. You have to slip chicks under a broody while the chicks are still wet or just fluffing up.
  10. newchickmom

    newchickmom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 8, 2007
    Lafayette, Indiana
    A lot of people use the day-old chicks for adopting out to a broody. I have done this myself without any problems and plan on doing it this spring also. Timing is important though. I think the chicks should be no more than a day or 2 old for it to work.

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