Inprinting new chicks

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by LydiaClaire, Jul 19, 2011.

  1. LydiaClaire

    LydiaClaire New Egg

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    Jul 19, 2011
    Hello there! I'm new to this forum. I've raised backyard chickens in Albuquerque for more than 20 years. I currently have 2 elderly hens one of which has gone broody for the first time in 8 years. In the past, with other broody hens, I’ve bought day old chicks at the feed store and snuggled them under mom at night after she’s sat on the eggs for about 21 days. In all but one case I’ve had great luck. The one time this didn’t work, I suspect I bought older chicks and they would not imprint on the hen. Now w/the invention of this new-fangled internet, I’d like to order some day-old chicks. I have two questions. The chicks will arrive at the age of 3 – 4 days. Will they still imprint on mama? How crucial is it that I leave mama hen on the infertile eggs for 21 days? Thank you for any and all help!
     
  2. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

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    I've never had a broody so take this for what its worth, but my understanding is that while they can't count the days exactly, they have a fair idea of time passing so you do need to wait approximately 21 days before trying to sneak chicks under them. As for your second question about the age of the chicks, I do have a little experience with this. A couple years ago I bought a large order of chicks online and sold them locally as there were more than I could keep. I had a lady contact me who had a broody hen and was looking for chicks to put under her. I was a little dubious it would work because my chicks were by then 2 1/2 weeks old. However she wanted to try so she came and bought 5 chicks from me, took them home, waited until night and the hen was asleep, then slipped them under her. She called me the next morning to tell me it had worked and the hen was proudly strutting around the yard with chicks in tow.
     
  3. LydiaClaire

    LydiaClaire New Egg

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    Jul 19, 2011
    Thank you! I figure if it comes to it, I'll raise the babies myself but I know Mama would do a better job. Thanks again!
     

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