Putting Chicks Under a Broody Hen

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Rose66, Feb 22, 2012.

  1. Rose66

    Rose66 Songster

    Jan 26, 2011
    I have two silkie hens who have gone broody for the first time. They are currently sitting on wooden eggs. They are both in the same nest box even though there are other nest boxes in the pen. Should I separate them or just let them stay in the same box together?

    One of the two has been broody for over two weeks now and the other one has been broody for just a couple of days. I can't tell them apart because they are both blue. I'm thinking of maybe trying to slip three or four baby chicks under one or both and am wondering whats the oldest a chick could be to put under them and hopefully them accept them? Does it have to be a day old chick or could it be a few days old or a week old???

  2. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    With silkies, you're probably pretty safe up to a week, but I'd try to get them as young as possible to make sure they don't reject them. I don't have silkies, but from what I understand, they tend to brood babies together just fine. Just make sure each of them have babies, so they don't fight over them.
  3. suebee

    suebee Speaks Silkie Fluently

    Apr 1, 2007
    N. Carolina
    I would move the newly broody hen somewhere else and place chicks...up to 3 days old, under the OLD broody that's been sitting for 2 weeks. Otherwise they may get pecked to death by the new broody or both broody's. I would slip the chicks under her at night with an old egg shell too. Keep a watch for at least 10 minutes to make sure she doesn't peck them. Check asap in the morning that she's still accepted them.

    Many people think that all silkie hens automatically make GREAT mothers....Not True! I've been broody hatching for 9 years and have seen some broody hens harm baby chicks. The best silkie mother is a calm, friendly one. If she's high strung, unfriendly and scared of you, then she may be a bad hatcher and mother.

    I used a high strung, unfriendly one a few years ago..after only 2 hatched she got up and started scratching around frantically, almost crushing the new born babies...not to mention leaving the unhatched cold and uncovered. I will only use the calmest, friendliest silkie hens.

    Please post back here when you get you chicks!
  4. lclough1998

    lclough1998 Songster

    I had a broody silkie sitting on eggs that never hatched, thats another story, anyway all I could come up with at the time were 3 lav orps that I put under her and she took to them no problem. They were 2 weeks old and she mothered them until they were bigger then her and I took them away and put them in with the full size chickens. It is tough when you can't tell them apart, be sure to do it at night, and hopefully its cold where they are and that the chicks need the moms warmth to stay under her.

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