Introducing chicks to hens with chicks

davidschaffer

In the Brooder
5 Years
Apr 20, 2014
21
1
27
I have two hens on a nest that started hatching eggs today. I expect to have 6-8 new chicks over the next couple of days. I am considering purchasing some chicks that were hatched 3-4 days ago and introducing them to the new chicks and hens, hoping the hens will raise them. Is this a bad idea? My reasoning is to add a new breed to my flock. Thanks
 

oldhenlikesdogs

Grateful
BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Jul 16, 2015
45,488
79,278
1,462
Wisconsin
Some hens will take extra chicks and some will attack them. It definitely needs to be timed right, waiting too long past the first day or two often doesn't work. Chicks not hatched under a broody may not know how to go under one. You don't know if it will work until you try it. Always be ready to brood them yourself and to keep an eye on the situation.
 

davidschaffer

In the Brooder
5 Years
Apr 20, 2014
21
1
27
Thank you for the reply. It sounds a bit to risky. The chicks are 3-4 days older and were hatched in an incubator. I think I will pass on this opportunity.
 

davidschaffer

In the Brooder
5 Years
Apr 20, 2014
21
1
27
The chicks have hatched and I think there are 10. I found all but 2 out of the nest with the 2 hens. unfortunately the nest is in a spot they can not get back to as it it to high. I placed the 2 with the rest and corralled then into a dog crate. I am hoping it is enough room for them to all grow a bit in before I let them into the bigger part of the coop. The two hens are doing a great job so far of caring for the chicks. There were 3 eggs that did not hatch and one of them if chirping. I've placed it in the kennel but the hens don't seem to have much interest in it. Will it survive to hatch without being warm from the hens? It's going to get cold tonight.
 

Kiawaki

Chirping
5 Years
Mar 15, 2016
49
37
94
We have a lavender Cochin hen who hatched 10 chicks on Sun/Mon. On Tue, we got another 16 chicks from the incubator. We decided not to give them to the hen because we thought she had enough already.

On Thu, we took the incubator chicks out for the first time. We prepared an old door frame covered with wire for them. The broody hen was out with her chicks while we were bringing the new babies into the frame, and she just went nuts over them. Started fussing around them, squeezed herself under the wire and into their frame, so we thought, "why not?" and let her have them all.

In the evening, we take most of them into a warm box in our porch because there's no chance the hen would be able to keep them all warm, but otherwise she's very happy strolling around with 26 babies in tow. That's one bird that doesn't shy away from responsibility!

Silver+26chicks-2.jpg
 

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