Is this worth a try?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by 2DogsFarm, Aug 26, 2010.

  1. 2DogsFarm

    2DogsFarm Songster

    Apr 10, 2009
    NW Indiana
    I have a Houdan hen who went broody at the end of June.
    She has stopped laying and sits on everyone else's eggs. spends most of her day in the nestbox, but does get out a bit with the others.
    She is a bit on the thin side, but not desperately so and she does eat & drink from the regular feeder & waterbowl.

    This weekend I will be visiting a friend who has chickens.
    She has crossed some Isa Browns & Wyandottes - she calls "Isa-dottes" - and has offered me either fertile eggs or chicks from this cross.

    If I took day-old or not much older chicks what are the chances my Houdan would raise them?
    I'll be coming home Sunday before dark and could sneak the chicks under her that night when all go in to roost.

    Or, I could mark the fertile eggs and slip them under her.

    I do not have anywhere I could isolate her with the chicks unless I close off the door from the coop to the connecting fenced yard and leave them out side. Right now temps are plenty warm even at night and I could put a cat carrier in there for a nest & some shelter.

    Does any of this sound like it could work?
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2010

  2. i tried it with both my broody chanteclers and my broody brahma... none of them would accept the chicks... so I say try it, but have a brooder ready in case she isn't up for it.
  3. chickenlady08

    chickenlady08 Songster

    Jul 27, 2009
    Eastern Shore, VA
    I would say get some of the chicks instead of eggs, because this means that she will be in the nest for 21 more days instead of up an about teaching her babies how to be chickens.

    Good Luck and hope it works out for you and your Momma want to be.
  4. 2DogsFarm

    2DogsFarm Songster

    Apr 10, 2009
    NW Indiana

    Oh Lordy - I don't have anything like a brooder either!

    Hmmmm...except for the 30gal aquarium I was using to overWinter my goldtrout.
    (they are now in a 44gal stock tank and waaaaaaaay too big to bring in this year)

    S/B large enough for 2 or 3 little Isa-dottes, right?

    Will keep you posted
  5. I've seen people break down cardboard boxes and shape them into whatever area/size they need with a little duct tape. Pretty neat and non permanent
  6. nifty50chick

    nifty50chick Chirping

    Aug 22, 2010
    Thats what i do, the cardboard thing. It works great and is disposable.[​IMG]
  7. chickenlady08

    chickenlady08 Songster

    Jul 27, 2009
    Eastern Shore, VA
    Try to find an old appliance box (fridge, washer dryer). I have used a very large box that my husband used at his former job that they got with roses for Valentines Day. It is huge and they will be plenty safe in there with their Momma.

    But then again I keep my Mommas and babies seperate from the rest of the flock to keep them safe.

    Not sure if that is what you wanted to do or not.

  8. 2DogsFarm

    2DogsFarm Songster

    Apr 10, 2009
    NW Indiana

    Is there a Murphy's Law of Poultry?

    I got my 2 little Isa-dottes.
    So, of course, when I got them home last night Ms Broody was out with everyone else and told me she may have changed her mind about that Mom Stuff.
    She even got onto the roost instead of the nestbox when it got dark.

    So I have the little gals in a 10gal aquarium bedding in shavings and covered with chicken wire inside the coop.
    That way the Big Girls can see & hear but not touch.
    Of Ms Houdan is sitting on the box this morning I may try putting the chicks under her & locking them all in the yard like I said - supposed to be in the 90s today & all week until Friday so they s/b warm enough.

    At best it will be 5 weeks before they can come out & join the flock, at worst I'll have 2 roos.

    Anyone want an Isa-Dotte roo?
    Full grown the hens are pretty cute- mostly white with a lot of penciling on their backs. The Isa Brown roos are gorgeous but I didn't see any of the crosses as full-grown roos.

    I expect I'll be posting here with baby chick questions soon.

    Best Laid Plans, right?
  9. bragabit

    bragabit Songster

    Mar 26, 2009
    Southern Utah
    I found that if the hen is making the -bock, bock mommy hen call when she sees the chicks that she'll take them. My own experience.
  10. 2DogsFarm

    2DogsFarm Songster

    Apr 10, 2009
    NW Indiana
    Well, as of this morning it appears I have 2 orphan chicks.
    Ms Broody stayed on the roost last night & was 1st out of the coop for breakfast.
    She was freeranging with everyone else when I left for work.

    The other hens showed mild interest in the chicks-under-glass, but noone made any nosie that remotely resembled "bock bock" so I am thinking noone wants to take over mothering these babies.

    I stopped at the feedstore and picked up medicated chick starter along with their own wee waterer as the dish with rocks I put in for them is being used as a footbath.
    Both appeared bright-eyed and interested this morning. Both ate a little & both preened themselves so I am thinking they are settling in.

    Willl keep posting as things (& chicks) develop [​IMG]
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2010

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