"mothering hen"? UPDATE

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by ebonykawai, Apr 24, 2008.

  1. I have 5 chicks that I have been planning on giving to a local farmer. This Sunday is the day, if I decide to go through with it. I've been asking him about his brooder plans and such. I need to make sure these little guys are going into competant hands. He says he uses a mothering hen. Does this seem feasible? These chicks will be 2-1/2 weeks old on Sunday. They aren't exactly little babies and I am wondering if an adoptive hen would even accept them at that age. He says he did this before with banties that were 4 days old, but these guys are bigger and older.

    Has anyone seen this work? Is it common? I was under the impression that chickens don't usually accept new members easily, and that younger ones can really get picked on. Any thoughts or experiences would be much appreciated. I need to decide what to do pretty soon. Thanks!
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2008
  2. MRNpoultry

    MRNpoultry Songster

    Mar 2, 2008
    Gibsonville, NC
    I know some people who do that. But thats when they are real young. Some hens will except any baby, others will pick on them. For example 2 of my rirs are mean to the chicks, but 1 rir will let them climb on her. I ain't sure about a hen excepting chicks that old.
  3. Exactly. They are not new hatchlings. I'm having second thoughts about this. Actually, I'd like to keep all of them. Maybe I'll just do that. I certainly have room.

    Anyone else want to weight in on this?
  4. farm_mom

    farm_mom Songster

    Mar 11, 2008
    If the mother already has babies the same age, he might be able to add a few w/o issue, but you do have reason to be concerned.
  5. These would be the only young additions to his flock.
  6. chcknrs

    chcknrs Songster

    Mar 7, 2008
    Kelso, WA
    I think you are right to be concerned. If the hen doesn't take to them, then what? Besides, if you have the room......
  7. reallemons1

    reallemons1 Songster

    Mar 31, 2008
    Gloucester, VA
    With the occaisional rare exception of a very accepting, already a mother, mothering hen with young babies the about same age it won't work. I've tried to add babies to hens too usually without success. Be careful about letting them go to him.
  8. That's what I thought. I have a bad feeling. I think I'm going to keep them and find other homes at some point down the road. I worked too hard to get these peeps so healthy and stress-free!
  9. Well, my five extras ended up going to my daughter's friend's dad, who raises chickens and has a batch of 15 chicks that are the same age as these little guys. I feel a lot better about them going there than to the unknown 'mothering' situation. I can visit any time and see how they are growing. He's only a few miles down the street. [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

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