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Introducing foster hen to chicks?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by bradleyjpyle, Sep 11, 2012.

  1. bradleyjpyle

    bradleyjpyle Out Of The Brooder

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    Is this advisable or even possible to introduce what I would want to be a mama hen to the 20-ish chicks I'll be hatching?

    I've got 4month-2 1/2 year old hens, uncertain what ones "best"

    My experienced layers are barred rocks.

    Should I get my Queen Hen (dominant one) and give them to her so she will defend them?
     
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    Only a broody hen will accept and mother chicks. Any non broody will peck at and could even kill chicks.
     
  3. bradleyjpyle

    bradleyjpyle Out Of The Brooder

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    Well that's problematic :(

    If the hen squawks when I take her eggs but doesnt insist on staying nest close enough to "broody"?
     
  4. bradleyjpyle

    bradleyjpyle Out Of The Brooder

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    Can I force my queen hen to stay on her eggs then swap in the chicks?
     
  5. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    Realistically, you can't force a hen to go broody. Allowing her to build up a clutch of eggs may help spark broodiness - MAY HELP.
     
  6. Texasmja

    Texasmja Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You can not force a hen to be broody, she decides when it happens. And if you have a broody hen later you let her sit for a couple of weeks before putting chicks under her (and do it at night). The reason she needs to be sitting for a few weeks before introducing the chicks is to make sure she is serious. You will know because she will only leave her nest once a day to poop and eat and run right back. I had a red sexlink hen go broody this year and I put 12 chicks under her and she raised them all.
     
  7. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    Agreed on the above posts. Broodiness is a hormonal thing. You can't force it. If you want to hatch out chicks, you should plan on raising them without the help of a hen. Maybe you'll get lucky and have one go broody, but don't count on it.
     
  8. bradleyjpyle

    bradleyjpyle Out Of The Brooder

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    So ditch the idea of foster hen?

    What about one of my 4month old hens. How do you think that introduction would go?
     
  9. Texasmja

    Texasmja Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I wouldn't because you are risking her killing them and they need warmth. You are going to have to raise them this time.
     
  10. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    Yes - ditch the idea. It would not go well.
     

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