Just put live chicks under broody hens.

MadAsh

In the Brooder
7 Years
Aug 7, 2012
43
1
34
We have three broody bantam hens (two cochins and one mixed breed). We ordered 12 hatching eggs and not one hatched. Three looked good on day ten, but only two peeped and pecked, but never made it out. We were heartbroken for our expectant broodies. We bought six live chicks today and over the last three hours have placed two chicks under each hen. They quickly settled the chicks underneath them and have been clucking sweetly to them when the little ones peep. They are all very sweet hens, but when I put the second chick under my mixed breed, she went after my hand pecking like crazy, as soon as I got the chick under her wing she fluffed out and settled again. I think she thought I was going to take the first one out. I have been checking on them about every 20 minutes or so and they are all settled and appear happy. Does this mean it is most likely going to work or is there still significant risk that they may reject the chicks? I have them all in separate areas with fresh water and food. Just wanted to see what experienced people thought about how it is going so far. Thanks for any feedback.
 

MadAsh

In the Brooder
7 Years
Aug 7, 2012
43
1
34
Things are going beautifully! They are in the bottom of the coop in their own separate nesting boxes, but fairly close to each other due to space. I knew they needed to be on the ground level, but have their own space. The chicks would come out frequently today to the "common area" and peep around and eat and drink under the mama's watchful eyes. Four of the six chicks have switched hens several times and none of them seem to mind. They were crawling all over them and jumping up and pecking at their wattles. All the while, those sweet hens where just gently clucking to them. It actually made me tear up. I had blocked off the top of the coop and left the upper roof open for the rooster and the other two hens, but my hubby was putting shingles on the coop roof and took it off. I went out and found the entire flock, including my rooster, in the bottom of the coop that was set up for the babies and mommies. I was mortified, but when I ran over, the peeps where just peeping around the hens and even the rooster. He even made those gentle sounds to them also (he's a pretty sweet roo all the time anyway). I watched close by for a while to make sure they weren't in danger, and everyone just seemed to be getting along and happy. As of bedtime, four of of the chicks were under one hen and the other two hens each had one under them. I decided to just leave them alone and let them do their thing. I love to hear the hens cluck gently and nuzzle them. I'm so happy this evening!!!! Thanks for asking. :)
 

MadAsh

In the Brooder
7 Years
Aug 7, 2012
43
1
34

The black cochins and the little buff serama are my little foster moms.
 

BrendaJ

Songster
7 Years
Sep 1, 2012
1,322
79
186
Oregon
Glad things went well
jumpy.gif
 

raebeth

Hatching
6 Years
Apr 15, 2013
1
0
6
Hi! I am new to my chicken life and have had a broody hen for a few weeks and can't seem to get her to stop so we are getting some chicks at our feed store that came in two days ago. If they are still a week old are they young enough to put under her or so they need to be just hatched?
 

chiqita

Crowing
8 Years
Aug 29, 2011
5,430
181
268
San Jose, Ca
Hi! I am new to my chicken life and have had a broody hen for a few weeks and can't seem to get her to stop so we are getting some chicks at our feed store that came in two days ago. If they are still a week old are they young enough to put under her or so they need to be just hatched?
It depends on the hen. My silkies will brood a one eyed rat if it will peep. But some chicks will not accept a mother if they are too old. I have put up to 2 week olds under broodies with some success. But I watch, and if they don't go under mamma and ignore her peeps, Ill take older ones back.

I have a friend that says her hens know if the chicks are older and will reject them, but I have only had chicks reject mammas.
 

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