Placing chicks under a broody

MuscovyMad

Chirping
9 Years
Dec 2, 2010
209
0
99
Can day old chicks be placed under a broody that is sitting? If so how would i go about it?

As i currently have eggs in the bator and have noticed that one of my pullets has gone broody. Therefore it would save me the hassle of hand rearing chicks if i can give them to her.
 

HEChicken

Crowing
10 Years
Aug 12, 2009
7,552
203
336
BuCo, KS
My Coop
You would need to wait until the broody hen has sat for approximately 21 days (she can't count exactly but she has a fairly good idea of the amount of time that has passed). The best thing would be to put the chicks under at night when she is sleeping. In the morning she will think they hatched from the eggs she was sitting on.
 

greenscape

In the Brooder
10 Years
Jan 25, 2009
79
4
31
I've placed chicks with a hen that already has chicks
I also got an old Cochin that will take chicks any time you need her too. Rare but can happen.
 

Ridgerunner

Free Ranging
11 Years
Feb 2, 2009
25,308
14,731
727
Southeast Louisiana
You don't have to wait 21 days, but I agree it is better to wait a little while if you can. Some people have reported a broody accepting chicks after just a couple of days of going broody, but I think your odds of success increase if you can wait. If you have eggs in the incubator, you don't have a lot of control over the timing.

I don't know how many chicks you are talking about or how valuable they are to you. Sometimes people pay a lot for eggs and don't want to risk them any more than they have to.

Last summer I had a broody and also had eggs in the incubator. A snake was eating eggs out from under the broody so I wound up with a slightly drawn out incubator hatch. I took four chicks that had hatched and dried off and put them under the broody about 10:00 at night. She accepted them no problem. A couple of days later, after the rest had hatched and she had brought the four off the nest, I put her in a prepared enclosure. Then I mixed the four chicks she had accepted and the rest in a box, then dumped that box at her feet. She raised 15 chicks.

Probably the best way to go about it is to give them all to her at night. That is probably the best chance for success. But if you don't want to risk them all, there are other ways to go about it. They are living animals and I cannot tell you what will or will not work. They keep surprising me.

Good luck!
 

MuscovyMad

Chirping
9 Years
Dec 2, 2010
209
0
99
I have seen her sitting for a few days now. I only see them for a little bit each day so i assumed that i just caught her laying. She is currently sitting on a golf ball which i placed in the nest to encourage the pullets to lay there. So would i need to take away the golf ball and add an unfertile egg to let her sit on.

I only have one egg in the bator which i put in this morning as i am not convinced she would sit the full time. However she is a pekin x OEGB so she is probably going to be a formidable mother.

So my best bet is to put the chick under her at night. Should i wait until it is a few days old and thus is stronger? Or should i just put it straight under once it is dry?

If she rejects the chick will she kill it?
 

greenscape

In the Brooder
10 Years
Jan 25, 2009
79
4
31
Are these eggs already hatched? If not and you are sure she is setting. Put them under her and when they hatch she'll say wow that was quick and raise them up.
 

MuscovyMad

Chirping
9 Years
Dec 2, 2010
209
0
99
There was only one egg in the bator. However i candled it today and it's not fertile.
I'll think i will just collect more eggs and put some under her and some in the bator. That way if anything goes wrong with either attempt i still have a back up.
 

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