New one on me, thought I'd share

scooter147

Songster
11 Years
Jul 30, 2008
2,042
77
221
Missouri
I went to the feed store yesterday and bought 6 americana chicks. I currently have two broody hens and my plan was to have them take care of them for me. I also have Old Gray. A gray mixed bantam hen that is about 7 now. She was broody but has been off the nest about a week now. She was my first choice as a "adoptive" mom. She has probably raised 20 batches of chicks for me over the years.

So I go out about 5:30 and stick the 6 chicks under another mixed hen (she's been broody about 3 weeks) and she wasn't to crazy about it but she tolerated them as long as they didn't stick their heads out from underneath her, then she pecked them. I thought ok I'll stand here until it gets dark and everthing will probably be a ok by morning. I have stuck hundered of chicks under broodies in the dark and as long as they've been broodie at least 2 weeks they have always taken them in for me.

Then Old Gray came in and heard the chicks, she jumped up on the nest box and just looked and looked for the chicks. The light buld went off, she sure appears to be interested in the chicks, so I thought I'd give it a try. I definately wanted Old Gray to brood the chicks if she would as she has never let me down and she's bigger then the other two and would be able to cover them better as they grew. So I took the chicks put them in another box and Old Gray step right in, settled down, purred to the chicks and they went right under a warm adoptive mom. So I got out the dog cage set it up and moved Old Gray into the cage for the night. This morning everything was just as I left it. I placed food and water in and Old Gray immediately called the chicks to the food tray and showed them what to eat.
In my 40+ years I have never had a hen take chicks after she "broke up" off the nest.
Any other experiences like this out there?
 

marymac

Songster
11 Years
Jul 12, 2008
814
10
151
Northeast Ohio
AWWW... that is such a cute story. How lucky you are to have such a good and caring hen.
love.gif
 

scooter147

Songster
11 Years
Jul 30, 2008
2,042
77
221
Missouri
Quote:
Kittymomma, you are exactly right. She has made it to 7 because she is such a good broody hen and mother and tame hen and of course over the years I turned her into a pet. When she "weans" these she'll take about a two week break and go back to being broody and this time (since it wont' be the dead of winter) I will set eggs under her.
When my chicks are about three weeks of age I start letting mom take them her chicks on trip outside. I supervise but the hawks around her a brave. I've seen this hen get into a down and dirty fight with a redtail hawk when it was after it's chicks and there were more redtail feathers on the ground then hen feathers when it was over and she chased a cooper's hawk in the air about 50 feets once as well. I think she would fight anything to her death to protect her chicks
 

MANNA-PRO

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