Overnight sneak and tuck might be working?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Amy Chickie, Apr 13, 2011.

  1. Amy Chickie

    Amy Chickie Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 19, 2011
    Last year we adopted and hand raised three little Buff Orpington chicks who we named Lois, Francine, and Donna. Donna turned out to be a Donald and so we had to give him away [​IMG], luckily we found a farmer who needed another rooster and was intrigued by our Donald who was hand raised by two young boys and liked to sit on laps. Just over a month ago Lois died unexpectedly [​IMG], turns out she ingested some mycotoxin from peanuts left here by the previous homeowners to feed the squirrels (we had her body necropsied to find out the cause of death, and we of course cleaned up all the peanuts).

    So we decided to adopt three more chicks and have Francine raise them because she seems so lonely. Here are our new babies that we adopted yesterday!

    [​IMG]

    Bonnie is a Buff Orpington, Kendra and Debbie are both Silver Laced Wyandottes.

    Last night we sneaked the baby chicks underneath Francine and she seemed to accept them, she even stood up slightly as we slipped them under her. This morning she seems indifferent toward them. I'm relieved that she isn't aggressive toward them, but she also isn't acting very motherly toward them. Should I give it another day or so before calling it quits and bringing the chicks back inside? They seem to be safe and warm inside the henhouse even without Francine. They have food, water, and heat lamp, it's clean and dry in there, and we're keeping it closed off from potential predators.

    I'm hoping that one more of snuggling with chicks will be bonding for her. What do you think?
     
  2. rubyrogue

    rubyrogue Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 8, 2010
    Was she broody? If she wasn't broody she doesn't have the right hormones going through her and probably will not raise them. I just stuck 3 turkey poults under my broody momma who has been sitting tight to her nest for over 3 weeks. She has plucked all her chest feathers and gives me the evil eye if i try and move her. Last year she raised 6 hens up for me. She is an awesome mom and I don't even have to wait till night to stick them under her I just place the box next to her for about 30 min and make sure the babies are cheeping. then i put them under her wings, she becomes an instant momma and gets so protective its funny. she lectures them and shows them the food.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2011
  3. Amy Chickie

    Amy Chickie Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 19, 2011
    Since she's never raised chicks before it's hard to tell. The only thing which I have to judge is she sits on her eggs for a long time making me think that she might be broody, or at least this is worth a shot especially since Buff Orpingtons have a reputation for being broody and for being good moms.

    I did this once before when I was a kid visiting my aunt's farm and it took about a day or so for the hen to accept the chicks, but this was an older hen who had stopped laying but who had raised her own chicks when she was younger. Because it took her a day or so, it makes me think that I should have patience as long as she isn't hurting the chicks.

    I think?
     
  4. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    You are very lucky she did not kill the chicks when she woke up in the morning.

    If she was not broody, did not "set" on eggs for at least a week or so, she was not and is not mentally ready to raise babies. Bring the little fuzzy butts inside and raise them up by hand. When they are about the same size as the one you have now, you can re-introduce them. In the mean time, it would be best to have a barrier between the adult and the babies so no accidents happen and they can become familiar with each other so integration is easier.
     
  5. Amy Chickie

    Amy Chickie Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 19, 2011
    Hmmm, thanks.

    I've been introducing them to her about once per hour and since she's not at all aggressive toward them do you think it might be worth it to give her one more night? Or do you think that's way too risky?

    When/if I bring them back inside should I continue with supervised visits as long as she remains non-aggressive? By "supervised visits" I mean that I'm right there with Francine and the chicks.
     
  6. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    She is probably ignoring them at this stage because she does not recognize them as chickens. You can give her supervised visits, and exposure to her is helping out the chick's immunities no doubt, but I wouldn't risk sticking them under her again for the night. Besides, hand raised chicks will be more human friendly in the long run than hen raised chicks.
     
  7. Amy Chickie

    Amy Chickie Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 19, 2011
    Thanks! That makes me feel a bit better. I'll go turn on the heat lamp in the guest bathroom to get it warmed up so I can bring them inside soon.
     

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