Raising chicks from a Broody hen, into the flock?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Gabrielle, Jan 3, 2013.

  1. Gabrielle

    Gabrielle Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 9, 2011
    Hi, I am planning on getting some chicks for my Hen this Spring/Summer. I have 7, and there is a strong chance of them becoming broody.

    Regardless if they are broody or not, I would like to know:

    If a hen raises the chicks, will the be able to stay in the flock when they are full grown? Or will the flock abandon them after they are raised. I am scared to get them, and the flock reject the younger/newer members.

    Has this Motherhen method every worked?

    Thannnks! :)
  2. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    The hen won't usually accept the chicks unless she is broody. Even then, sometimes they don't. It helps to put the chicks under her in the evening after dark so she is accustomed to them by morning. Do this after she's been sitting on eggs (or golf balls or whatever) for at least a few days, and remove the golf balls at the same time.

    I did have one hen adopt some chicks who had been raised to about 3 or 4 weeks of age in a small chicken wire room, next to where she'd decided to go broody. She wasn't broody when I bought the chicks. One day I found both the hen and the chicks frantically trying to get through the chicken wire to the others, so I let them in together, and sure enough, she "raised" them for a month or so -- even though they didn't really need raising and would wander off from her. You just never know with chickens....

    I prefer to leave the mama and chicks in with the flock Usually she will raise them for around 4 to 8 weeks. Then when she starts pushing them away, or running off, the rest of the flock is accustomed to the chicks and they should be fine. For me they have stayed off to themselves when foraging, but have not been attacked. This has worked for me half a dozen times.

    Some people prefer to keep mama and chicks separate to prevent attacks from other chickens. If you do it this way, you may have to keep the chicks separate when the mama is through with them, until the chicks are around the same size as the rest of the flock.

    That's a pretty brief overview of broodies. I'll give you a link to an article in our learning center about broody hens, and to a very long thread with lots of experiences people have had with broodies and chicks.


    Last edited: Jan 4, 2013
    1 person likes this.

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