How old of chicks will a broody hen "adopt"?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by kipper, Mar 13, 2012.

  1. kipper

    kipper Songster

    We have a hen who is alone (picked on) and chicks coming in the mail. We plan to start the chicks in a brooder inside the house, then to a larger brooding area in the hen house.

    My question: How old can chicks be and still stand a chance of being adopted my broody mama?

  2. Den in Penn

    Den in Penn Songster

    Dec 15, 2011
    SE Pa.
    The age of the chicks is best under three days. It can work up to a week with lessening results. If the hen is not broody she will most likely not adopt the new chicks, no matter the age of the chicks.
  3. hennypenny99

    hennypenny99 Songster

    Apr 15, 2011
    Hugo, Ok
    I don't really have an answer to your question but I was able to get my chicken to adopt some babies a few weeks ago. My silkie hatched out two babies out of some young game roosters we used to have. My husband called to tell me the chicks had hatched so on the way home from work I stopped and bought 3 pan fry special chicks. I crawled under the house where her nest was and was putting them in her nest when she charged me! LOL I scooted out of there real fast. She didnt pay much attention to them at first and I left them in her nest area. The next morning she came by with her crew of 5 babies trailing behind her. :)

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