Introducing Week-old Chicks to Hen with Day-Old Chick

JessG35

In the Brooder
5 Years
Apr 12, 2014
16
0
24
Tulsa, OK
I have a hen who's been sitting on two eggs, one of which hatched today. Yesterday, we brought home two week-old chicks. Any chance we could sneak them under her to take care of? Or should we keep them separate? The other egg should've hatched yesterday, but we don't hear any peeping.
 

azelgin

Songster
12 Years
Jan 18, 2008
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S.E. AZ
If she would accept them, you might get away with it. At 1 week old, the store bought chicks will be out of the nest, for food and water. The new hatch, may stay put for another day, or, two. How everybody reacts when the week olds leave the nest, will determine who survives. If mom goes out after them and the day old follows, they'll probably make it.
You could stick them under her first thing in the morning, before daylight and see what happens.
 
Last edited:

TwoCrows

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Welcome to BYC!

Yes, you can try. I would do this in the night as to maybe fool the hen. It may or may not work. Always keep a close eye on added chicks to a broody.

Keep us posted! Good luck and welcome to our flock!
 

Kelsie2290

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Hello :frow and Welcome To BYC! X3 you can try it and it may very well work. Keep a very close eye on them to be sure she accepts the chicks. And then I would have the broody in a cage or confined area and food and water very close to the entrance of the nest, so the week olds can get food and water with out getting any distance away from the broody, that may keep her on the nest a day or two longer for the just hatched one.
 

sourland

Broody Magician
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Welcome to BYC. Give it a try as others have suggested, but monitor things closely. Week old chicks may not imprint on the hen.
 

JessG35

In the Brooder
5 Years
Apr 12, 2014
16
0
24
Tulsa, OK
Thanks for everyone's input! This is the first time any of our girls has hatched an egg AND the first time we've introduced newbies.

I was planning to start by trying to lay the smaller of the week-olds under her tonight, but am having second thoughts.

Right now, the broody is on the day-old in the nesting box, in a coop she shares with another hen and our rooster. The week-olds are inside, happily under a lamp. I'm concerned about how the other adults (mainly the rooster-he's tiny, but feisty!) will handle any chicks at all.

Should I bring our broody inside as well? Maybe just keep everything as-is for awhile? This is proving much more difficult than I imagined!
 

azelgin

Songster
12 Years
Jan 18, 2008
1,277
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S.E. AZ
I've never had a rooster go after young chicks. They seem to be very accepting and almost helpful. With only one other hen, your broody will have no problem defending the chicks from her, should there be a problem.
I think, should you decide to go through with adopting out the week olds, it should be all, or nothing. If she accepts a strange chick once, she may not necessarily accept the next one, at a later date.
Good luck.
 

JessG35

In the Brooder
5 Years
Apr 12, 2014
16
0
24
Tulsa, OK
Alright, all three babies are under mama and so far, so good. The big ones are under one wing, the littlest under the other. I'll continue to check on them throughout the night. Wish us luck!
 

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