Quail adoption? Skipping the whole egg thing (video added)


9 Years
Apr 29, 2010
Somewhere near Springfield, Ma
Has anyone ever had a coturnix hen adopt a young chick?
I have 2 hens that have shown some interest in nest making, they show a fondness for eggs, even shepherd other hens to lay in certain areas. When other hens egg call they play midwife and hurry to their sides.
I've tested these two hens with the singleton pharaoh chick I hatched out 4 days ago. Spanky, the mother of the chick, is afraid of the little one. Nonni however has shown interest in the chick, and hasn't tried to peck, pick, or otherwise harm the little one. She's not gone into full mother mode, but she shows the chick where to drink and eat. She doesn't seem to mind when the chick pecks her feet either. Visits are supervised to ensure no one is harmed.
Has anyone had any success with hens adopting chicks?

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I'm still pretty new, but I've not seen it mentioned in anything I've read.....
Neat video.

I've never tried to introduce chicks to surrogate hens before...unique experiment that you've got going on. Here in the winter months I've been hatching out 50+ chicks and in the summers past, its not uncommon to get over 100 in one hatch...don't think it would be feasible to try to find parents for all those lol.

Just out of curiosity, why would you want to? What do you hope to gain by doing doing that? IMO, since the Cots have been pretty much domesticated and very few even go broody, I would think that could potentially be a recipe for disaster for the chicks. Its good that you are doing supervised visits.

Keep the updates going on how your experiment continues to play out

good luck

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