Putting hatchery chicks under a broody (questions!!!)

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by FabulousMandy, May 18, 2010.

  1. FabulousMandy

    FabulousMandy In the Brooder

    Nov 16, 2008
    New Orleans, LA
    Ok. I have a sweet as can be GLW hen that has been broody for about a month. She's just dying to become a mommy, the poor thing. Unfortunately I don't have a rooster, so all her efforts up to this point have been for naught, and apparently she's not giving up her nest until she produces a chick.

    I just received my order of six baby chicks from MyPetChicken this morning, and from what I understand it's not too hard to slip some outsider chicks under a broody, and typically she accepts them. However all of the posts I keep coming across deal with putting outside chicks under a broody that has already hatched some chicks of her own. My broody (Cornflake) made a couple of clucks to the chicks when she heard them, but when I put a chick in the brooder to see what she would do she just kind of ignored it.

    I think I need to give her some more time to get acclimated to her nest; I just removed her from the coop this morning and made her a new nest in the brooder (complete with plastic eggs!), but she's skeptical about this new situation and isn't sitting too well on the nest yet. I covered the brooder with a blanket so she could have some privacy, and I just heard her scratching around in there, so hopefully this afternoon she'll be back to sittin'.

    I'm going to attempt to put the chicks one at a time under her this evening after Cornflake settles in her nest to go to sleep, but seriously what are the chances that she'll reject them? It's not THAT big of a deal if she does; if she doesn't want to raise them I'm going to get a fertile hatching egg for her to play house with. I'm just really scared that she might seriously hurt them if she rejects them and I won't be quick enough to stop a disaster. One of the chicks is a very delicate looking little Sebright, and I'd hate for anything to happen to it.

    Does anyone have any experience with this? She's such a sweet chicken and I doubt she'd hurt the chicks, but I'm so, so, so nervous about my babies.
  2. L0rraine

    L0rraine Songster

    May 20, 2009
    Whidbey Island
    I had heard that if you put them in a box next to the hen, the peeping will cause a 'hormone?' change that will make her more likely to accept the chicks. It seemed to work for me. At first I thought she was pecking them, but she was just trying to make sure they were tucked underneath her. I tried the "slipping them in at night" one time and it didn't work. I was too nervous about what would happen to them in the middle of the night. Doesn't look like anyone had responded, so please update us on what you tried and if it worked or not.

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