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Letting a hen take care of chicks??

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by RockingRooster, Mar 21, 2015.

  1. RockingRooster

    RockingRooster Out Of The Brooder

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    I have 12, two weeks old, baby chicks. 6 New Hampshire Reds, 3 White Leghorns, and 3 Araucanas. I also have 10 older birds out in my coop, in which one of the hens has hatched and raised a batch of chicks before. I was wondering if I could take that hen(which is a very nice hen) and introduce her to the 12 chicks that I have inside and see if she will raise them.

    Any help is welcome.
     
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    It is very unlikely that she will brood and care for the chicks, and far more likely that she might injure them. Fostering chicks under a broody hen and introducing partially grown chicks to a non broody hen are far different situations.
     
  3. RockingRooster

    RockingRooster Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you so much for the help. Does it hurt to try if I stand by and watch to make sure there is no violence?
     
  4. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    I would stand guard for a significant period of time. I would be concerned that even if she does not hurt them they might become chilled. (Dependent upon temperatures where you are located.)
     
  5. RockingRooster

    RockingRooster Out Of The Brooder

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    I would be sure to do that. And there area is around 6ft by 6ft with two heat lamps in different corners.
     
  6. Naser

    Naser Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Don't
    You gain absolutely nothing, and she WILL NOT take care of them, and the best scenario she will do nothing at all, and probably she will kill some of them and injure others.
    The only time a hen will foster chicks is if she is broody for a few weeks and then you sneak them under her at night.
     
  7. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Chicken Obsessed

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    I agree. Even if you stand by closely, she can grab a chick and thrash it to death before you could even begin to react.
     
  8. Rocky64

    Rocky64 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Last year I introduced a 2 month old barred rock to a silkie who has never gone broody before and the hen took the BR in as her own, even though the BR was fully feathered. I introduced them because the BR hatch mates died a few weeks after we bought them. The silkie STILLS act like the BR mom to this day.
     
  9. Naser

    Naser Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That was probably accepting a new hen to the flock, if it was chick mum relationship it who had been broken by now.
    the chicks he has are 2 weeks old not 2 months old, and they are 12 not one.
    At the age of 2 months chicks can survive without external heat.
     
  10. alleydebbie

    alleydebbie Out Of The Brooder

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    I just lost my rooster and my hens have just started laying. I haven't found another RIR rooster and have read that the hens carry the sperm for 3 to 4 weeks. I was thinking about getting a small incubator and hatch some eggs. I was wondering about they hens accepting the chicks after they are hatched and introduced to the flock. My hens are not broody and after reading what you've said I'm re-thinking that!
     

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