mother hen won't accept baby chick???

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by 77horses, Jul 26, 2011.

  1. 77horses

    77horses ◊The Spontaneous Pullet!◊

    Aug 19, 2008
    Hi everyone!
    I have two three hens and one rooster. Two of the hens went broody and shared the job of sitting on the eggs. All of the eggs were laid at different times so some developed sooner than others. Three chicks hatched about two weeks ago, and so one of the broody hens got off the nest and is taking care of them. So now, there's one broody hen sitting on the remaining eggs that haven't hatched yet.
    Today, one of them hatched. But for some reason the broody hen won't accept it??? She tries to peck at it whenever it goes near her and she is not acting like she even cares about it. I tried slipping the baby under her without noticing, and she doesn't notice it's under her until she sees it. And as soon as she sees it, she pecks at it as if she's intentionally trying to hurt it. I don't want to take the risk of her hurting it or even killing it, so right now I removed it from the nest and I have it in a brooder box inside the house. The other hen that's currently raising the three chicks that are about 2 weeks old does seem to accept the chick that just hatched and she seems a little concerned about it, but it's too weak and small to keep up with her and the three 2-week-old chicks.
    What should I do? Should I just keep it in the brooder box until it's a little older and strong enough to keep up with the older chicks, or is there a way I could try to get the broody hen to accept it?

  2. NanaLantana

    NanaLantana Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 7, 2011
    Lantana, Florida
    Silly chickens - they must have decided whose eggs were whose while they were setting. I hope the second broody will accept the rest of the later developing chicks. If not, you've got indoor brooder chicks again! I suppose you could get the young chick strong indoors, then place her under mother #1 at night, and let her try and keep up. Mother will care for her if she has already accepted her. It's always something, isn't it? Life might be simpler without chickens - but BORING! ( I think I'll keep mine, troubles and all)
  3. 77horses

    77horses ◊The Spontaneous Pullet!◊

    Aug 19, 2008
    Quote:Haha yeah, silly broodies [​IMG] I guess I'll keep her inside for now...I've lost one chick (almost two) before because the hen wouldn't accept it or take care of it so one of the other hens killed it right after it hatched before anyone knew. [​IMG] So I'm not taking any chances. I have a heating lamp and brooder box and everything and I've raised a baby chick from day one until about 3 months old in a broody box, so keeping it in a broody box for at least a week shouldn't be a problem. [​IMG]
  4. StrayMagnet

    StrayMagnet Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 10, 2011
    W. Georgia
    Well if You have the means and time to care for it. I'd just do what your doing and let it grow up with you in the brooder. untile it's odler and able to fend for itself. after all wont it "bond" to you more and be more friendly to you in the end? unless your adopting it out.. then you could adopt out a much friendlier easire to handle chicken
  5. 77horses

    77horses ◊The Spontaneous Pullet!◊

    Aug 19, 2008
    Update: I decided to try one more time to get the hen to accept it...turns out, she decided she wanted to accept it now. [​IMG] She stopped pecking at it and now it's snuggled up safe and sound under her. [​IMG]

    Thanks everyone!
  6. LittleDarlings

    LittleDarlings Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 14, 2011
    Madison, GA
    Awww that's so sweet! Glad chickie is back where it belongs! [​IMG]
  7. BonnieFaye

    BonnieFaye New Egg

    May 19, 2013
    Hey, I'm totally late on reading these posts but I am desperate...My mother hen just hatched a chick and will not have anything to do with it. I have brought it inside, under a heat lamp. It is not strong enough to hold its head up and may be a bit premature. Can someone guide me into what I can do to save this little one?
  8. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    Does the hen have more eggs she is sitting on? She may realize something is wrong with the chick, but I would try to keep slipping the chick underneath her. Chicks who are not thriving right after birth may not make it or may have problems standing, feeding, etc., and you may be better of letting nature take it's course. If you choose to bring the chick inside in a brooder you can try dunking it's beak in to water. If you have any Polyvisol vitamins, a drop or two would be good each day for a couple of days. They usually don't eat much the 1st day, but day 2 try getting it to eat by placing crumbles on a paper towel in front of it. Good luck.

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