Introducing chick to mother hen. . .

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by LunaGirl, Apr 14, 2008.

  1. LunaGirl

    LunaGirl Out Of The Brooder

    30
    0
    22
    Apr 14, 2008
    We had one of our hens sitting on 12 eggs. Two hatched fine and the third one hatch a day later. At that point, the mom had already left the nest so we rescued the chick and brought in under a heat lamp, dried it off and about 12 hours later when it was up and running around we tried to introduce it back to the mom. It didn't go well at first but eventually she seemed to take to it. We left the chick outside last night with the other two chicks and the mom who are in a separate area and when I went out to feed them this morning everyone was fine. About an hour later I went back out to check on them and the introduced chick had a bloody head from being pecked. I've since brought the chick back in but I'm wondering what I did wrong. Any thoughts, suggestions? Anything?
     
  2. red-hen

    red-hen Chillin' With My Peeps

    168
    2
    121
    Mar 4, 2008
    I doubt it was what you did wrong, but some hens just aren't mother material. If she abandoned them after they were hatched, she isn't interested and shouldn't be relied upon to raise chicks.

    Having said that, if you do have a hen that does have good mothering skills, I've read (haven't tried it) that you wait until nightfall and place chicks one at a time underneath the broody hen while she is still sitting tightly on her nest. She'll probably cackle and resettle while you do it but in the morning (they say) she should just pick up as if she'd hatched them herself. (Catch is she must have been brooding well for a while on her nest - and she must be good mother material - unlike your girl).

    So - not your fault - but don't put the chicks back in with her. She will finish the pecking job and killl them.
     
  3. LunaGirl

    LunaGirl Out Of The Brooder

    30
    0
    22
    Apr 14, 2008
    Thanks. The hen is doing fine with the other two chicks. They are happy, healthy and climbing all over mom. I removed all the other eggs today and none of them were viable. We're just going to keep the one inside unless of course we see that she's not tending to the other two and go from there. This is our third hatching but for some reason we always only end up with one or two chicks. Strange.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by