Introducing chicks to a mother that already has chicks?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by DMSrabbit, Jan 2, 2011.

  1. DMSrabbit

    DMSrabbit Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 6, 2010
    Portland, OR
    I have a silkie with 7 barnevelder bantam chicks. Right now the chicks are 9 days old, but over the next 5 days i will be hatching about 14 new eggs. Any chance i could add them to the mix when they fully dry out? Im just wondering if she will "adopt" them, because she seems to be a great mother (4 or 5 clutches a year) and does a great job raising them. I would hate to have them in the brooder box next to them, when they could potentially have company and a great teacher.

    Please let me know what u think. I do not with to jeopardize any newborn chicks to being trampled or pecked to death for the sake of my own curiosity...

    Thanks in advance,

    Nate
     
  2. Sir Birdaholic

    Sir Birdaholic Night Knight

    Chances are, she'll reject them. Careful trying to introduce them to her. I think you'd have better luck putting them with an older hen that has raised a few families. I got 38 Faverolle chicks & my 7 year old EE adopted ALL of them.
     
  3. DMSrabbit

    DMSrabbit Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 6, 2010
    Portland, OR
    Good to know, they will stay in a separate brooder. I would give them to an older hen, but unfortunately i got rid of almost all my chickens, and i only have a 7 1/2 month old hen, and a 9 month old rooster. So i don't think they would be the best "surrogates" for them. Also just out of curiosity (if anyone knows) if i take my mother hen away from her 12 day old chicks, how long will it take her to re-clutch eggs? I guess what im asking is, if i remove her do you think she will clutch more fertile eggs?
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2011
  4. jeslewmazer

    jeslewmazer Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 24, 2009
    Mississippi
    mr. birdaholic :

    Chances are, she'll reject them. Careful trying to introduce them to her. I think you'd have better luck putting them with an older hen that has raised a few families. I got 38 Faverolle chicks & my 7 year old EE adopted ALL of them.

    Agree. It depends on the hen and what mood she is in. Some reject: any chick, only new chicks, any chicks older than the original brood, yet others except some but not others or except all. I had one hen that excepted some chicks a few days younger than her, but 2-3days later it rained and she tried to kill them. [​IMG] It is basically a shot in the dark and use extreme caution when introducing any chick.

    Sometimes it takes a little while before a broody hen starts to lay again.​
     
  5. RioLindoAz

    RioLindoAz Sleeping

    Jul 8, 2007
    Yuma, Arizona
    This can be done quite seamlessly during the nighttime.

    Shut off the heat lamp in with the broody for about two hours and place the chicks around her. You'll notice that the babies will naturally huddle up against the hen in the dark. Its kind of like they're creating the bond during this time. Throw the light back on and you're done. Don't worry about rejection. Its really a silkie's character to regect chicks.

    Also, make sure the builder area is not too cool. With that many chicks, smothering is very possible from all of them huddling under momma.

    Good luck.
     
  6. DMSrabbit

    DMSrabbit Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 6, 2010
    Portland, OR
    Quote:You say to do all this above, and then say "dont worry about rejection, it really a silkies character to regect chicks." So if my silkie is prone to rejecting chicks, why would i throw them in with her? Did you mean its NOT in their nature to reject chicks? Also the area that they are in (in my garage) is pretty cold, and without supplemental heat, the chicks all go underneath her. So.. Should i try, or just keep them all separate?
     
  7. RioLindoAz

    RioLindoAz Sleeping

    Jul 8, 2007
    Yuma, Arizona
    I meant that it's NOT likely for a silkie to reject new chicks. As long as they're not outside, they'll be fine.

    I apologize for all the typos, I'm typing on an android phone.
     
  8. DMSrabbit

    DMSrabbit Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 6, 2010
    Portland, OR
    Ok, then once they are born, i will introduce them to her (in the dark) and then see what she does. I hope she surrogates them, it would be fun to watch them all grow up together!! [​IMG]
     

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