Momma hen + baby duckling adoptees = not going so well actually


11 Years
Jan 10, 2010
Vacationland, Maine
So the back story is that I stopped hatching early this summer. I had about 1/4 of my birds broody, but most of them gave up. I've had one Die Hard broody though, an Easter Egger named FatOne who has been broody so long I can't even count how many weeks it's been. She's so skeletal now that her moniker doesn't fit.

I tried various methods of breaking her, to no avail. I sneak her in the garage for intensive food therapy, but it's still not enough.

Finally I decided to make a hatching exception for her and attempted to get her some kids to adopt. Long story short, I ended up getting two few day old ducklings for her today since that was what was available.

I threw them in the dark nesting box under her, and everything seemed ok. Then the ducks tried to escape the box. I put the front on it, so they couldn't escape and everything was ok for a few hours.

Then I decided to move everyone to the inside brooder, mostly because hungry baby and momma isn't a good idea in a nesting box without food or water.

The indoor brooder is 4x4 and boy those ducklings took one look at FatOne and ran like lightening to the other side of the brooder. Mom kept trying to herd them back and under her and it got kindof violent at that point, although no one got hurt since I was supervising. I then threw FatOne back outside, and of course she ran right back to the nesting box to sit on some eggs and golf balls.

She's back inside in the (pitch dark) basement and the two ducklings are laying next to her - apparently it's not cool enough for them to be under her. However at any hint of light they bolt and she pecks at them.

Do you think this will all work itself out overnight? Will the ducklings think of her as Mom?

Any suggestions you have would be great. Thanks.
True what PP said... Honestly the ducklings might get hurt by her. I doubt it will be on purpose but she will get frustrated when they don't wanna follow her. They might warm up to her eventually but not as there mother.

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