Ordering baby chicks & adult hens accepting them?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by nfwc1964, Jan 6, 2013.

  1. nfwc1964

    nfwc1964 Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 19, 2012
    Danville, NH
    We are looking into ordering some more baby chicks (3 days old).

    Woman at the store told my husband that the adult hens will take to the baby chicks like their own.

    Is this true?? Or do we have to worry about hens attacking 3 day old baby chicks & killing them??

  2. Kevin565

    Kevin565 Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Dec 22, 2009
    If your hens are not broody then they most likely will NOT accept them as their own.
  3. nfwc1964

    nfwc1964 Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 19, 2012
    Danville, NH
    Currently, our hens don't appear to be broody. Will they attack or kill the young chicks?
  4. barbiegirl

    barbiegirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 23, 2012
    The Poconos Pa
    My hens killed one of my chicks that was about 4 weeks old. Our silkie hatched the babies and one got into the run with my older girls and they killed it. I would not suggest that the baby chicks be put in with the older girls. Good luck with your new chicks :D
  5. llevise

    llevise New Egg

    Jan 6, 2013
    Most likely your older hens would kill or severely injure chicks. They should not be put together until the chicks are about 4 months old, almost as big as the older hens, and able to defend themselves. Even then there will be pecking and some fighting as a new pecking order is worked out. You have to monitor all of the birds in the pen to make sure that no one is getting hurt. Bluekote is great for covering wounds so that the blood doesn't attract more pecking.

    Also, baby chicks will need to be brooded until they are FULLY feathered out. Not sure if you are somewhere cold, but it would be a few months before they can completely be outside without supplemental heat.
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2013

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