Mixing Chicks of Different Ages w/ Hen

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by hippiehen, Apr 5, 2009.

  1. hippiehen

    hippiehen wastefully exuberant

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    Aug 27, 2008
    Utopia, Texas
    Ok, here goes:

    My broody hen is due to hatch her eggs on or around the 17th - I am getting an order of chicks in tomorrow from Ideal. I was going to try and sneak a few chicks in under the hen when her own clutch hatches (just for experiment sake), do you think it would work with the age difference between the chicks?
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    It might work. The hen might accept the chicks and try to raise them or she might kill them as intruders. The older chicks might not accept the hen as their mother and wander off and die or they might accept her as their protector. The older chicks might or might not fatally pick on the younger chicks.

    Depending on when and how you introduced them, the hen might leave the nest before all her eggs have hatched. It is not unusual for a hen to keep her first-hatched chicks on the nest for 48 hours so all chicks can hatch and dry off that are going to. That's why the new-born chicks absorb the yolk and can go for three days without eating or drinking. The older chicks cannot go that long without eating or drinking, so they will leave the nest looking for food or starve to death. If the hen leaves the nest with these chicks, she sacrifices her unhatched chicks.

    It might work. I would not try it unless I had a very good reason.
     
  3. hippiehen

    hippiehen wastefully exuberant

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    Quote:Curiosity killed the ....chicks? [​IMG]
     
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    If you were raising them all in a brooder, you probably would not have any problems due to the difference in the age of the chicks. So much depends on the hen. Some hens will mother anything. Others will not. You really can't control what that hen is going to do. In my opinion, you are putting the chicks at risk if you try this.
     

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