Momma hen and chicks

NeeCee51

Chirping
6 Years
Aug 12, 2013
204
7
99
My neighbors chicken just hatched her chicks and he took them out of the nest because there were more hatching. Now that she is done he tried to reintroduce her chicks to her and she wants nothing to do with them. Can you make her accept them or have they been away from her too long. I feel bad for the babies....
 

AmericanMom

Songster
6 Years
Aug 10, 2013
2,842
312
231
Oregon
My neighbors chicken just hatched her chicks and he took them out of the nest because there were more hatching. Now that she is done he tried to reintroduce her chicks to her and she wants nothing to do with them. Can you make her accept them or have they been away from her too long. I feel bad for the babies....

Did he try and introduce them at night or during the day..

I had a hen hatch out 4 chicks, I had three in the house that hatched out 4 days later.. Took them to her around 11pm and slipped them under her.. Mind you I didn't let her see them, just kinda slid them in behind her and she accepted them just fine..

I have heard that although hens cannot count they do and will reject some colors of chicks... I gave her 2 black ones in addition to the 4 black ones she had, but also slipped in a brown one... Two weeks later it is the brown one that stays closer to her and gets all the good treats beak fed :)
 

centrarchid

Crossing the Road
11 Years
Sep 19, 2009
26,404
17,845
856
Holts Summit, Missouri
Starting before chicks hatch the chicks learn each others voices and their mothers and she learns theirs. Before they leave nest all are imprinted on each other. Pulling chicks out during this process messes up the imprinting. To restore which can be done only in a short window, keep hen and those previously removed chicks close together so they can hear each other. After dark then place those same chicks under her. Make certain she does not harm them during the close confinement stage. The following morning make certain all is well before releasing hen with brood eat and drink. Great care should always be taken when handling young during the imprinting stage as that can result in hen harming her own young.
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
12 Years
Feb 2, 2009
27,732
21,526
907
Southeast Louisiana
Part of it is how old the chicks are. I have very little trouble getting a broody to accept chicks straight out of the incubator, but I haven’t even tried older chicks. The older the chicks, the less likely you are to get the imprinting Centrarchid mentioned, either hen to chicks or chicks to hen. I’ve used two different methods. The standard is to slip them under her at night so she feels them and hears them overnight and wakes up with them.

One time a hen had four newly hatched chicks and had just taken them off the nest. I caught her and put her in a confined area and put her four chicks plus 11 chicks of the same age from the incubator in a box, then dumped that box in front of her. She accepted them all without a problem. They were a rainbow of colors too.

You are dealing with living animals. Those don’t come with guarantees. You’ll find plenty of posts on this forum where other people have had different experiences.

I just don’t do staggered hatches. I start all eggs at the same time in an incubator or under a broody. I find the less I interfere during hatch with either, the more successful I am.
 

NeeCee51

Chirping
6 Years
Aug 12, 2013
204
7
99
Thanks AmericanMom..I have them and they are doing fine. He did not even try to introduce them, other than putting them together out in the yard and when they tried to go to her she pecked them. They are doing fine now..they think I'm their mom..funny!! I have another question. These are two weeks old now and I plan on getting three more of another breed, which was my plan all along, should I get some that are about the same age or is it ok to get younger. I'm not sure how to introduce them to the ones I already have and thought if they were the same age it would be easier. Any info would help...Thanks
 

NeeCee51

Chirping
6 Years
Aug 12, 2013
204
7
99
Thanks flock Master..I have them now because when he tried to put them together she pecked at them. They are doing fine and I think they have imprinted on me!!! LOL
 

NeeCee51

Chirping
6 Years
Aug 12, 2013
204
7
99
What great information, thanks so much. I never knew there was so much involved with hatching and caring for them. The more I find out the more I love them. Thanks so much. I have learned so much from this site.
 

AmericanMom

Songster
6 Years
Aug 10, 2013
2,842
312
231
Oregon
Thanks AmericanMom..I have them and they are doing fine. He did not even try to introduce them, other than putting them together out in the yard and when they tried to go to her she pecked them. They are doing fine now..they think I'm their mom..funny!! I have another question. These are two weeks old now and I plan on getting three more of another breed, which was my plan all along, should I get some that are about the same age or is it ok to get younger. I'm not sure how to introduce them to the ones I already have and thought if they were the same age it would be easier. Any info would help...Thanks

Yeah, never try to introduce new chickies to momma during the day, her job is to protect her brood from outsiders or older hens chicks..

I have successfully brought chicks together that were three weeks apart, but I introduced 25 new chicks to only 10- 3 week old chicks....Out number what you have and then just watch...there will be some pecking but it shouldn't be to bad...at least it wasn't for us, I stood out there watching for the better part of an hour or so.. distracted the newbies by letting them out into the covered run..
 

NeeCee51

Chirping
6 Years
Aug 12, 2013
204
7
99
That's pretty good news..I was only going to get three more but maybe I should reconsider that. I can't have too many, don't really have the room since I have five I had not planned on. Well I think I'll start with four more and see how it goes. Thanks again, I really appreciate all your help...
 

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