Raising mail order chicks with a broody hen?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by animallover505, Jan 6, 2013.

  1. I wanted to raise 25 chicks for the 4-H chick chain. Then, I will show and sell 9 and keep the rest. My problem, however, is that I have no where to brood them. My friend has several broody hens that I might be able to use 2 of them. I'm not sure if I can, but if I can, will it be difficult to introduce them to the chicks and eventually the rest of the flock? Please help.
     
  2. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    I've done it several times. In all but one instance it was a success. I waited until the broody had gone the full 21 days on fake eggs and slipped chicks under her at night. Worked great, but the hens were silkies, a serama, and a wonderful SF hen I had that would mother anything.
    Then I had a broody turken (weird, but okay). Went through the same routine with her - 21 days, fake eggs, nighttime switch - and it was a disaster. She did alright for the first few hours but by the next morning I found a bloody mess. She attacked several of the chicks, two died; one from hypothermia and one because her wounds were so severe.
    I'll never try it again with any hen except one that I know loves chicks so much she doesn't care where they come from; as long as she gets some.
     
  3. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    28,907
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    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    To answer your other question, every single chick I have slipped under a good broody hen has automatically been accepted by the flock from day one. However, I haven't moved them to a different flock, just the flock they started out in.
     
  4. ok. Well, after reading more about the chick-chain, I decided to do it myself instead, so that they are friendlier (hopefully). Any pointers?
     
  5. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    28,907
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    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Spend lots of quiet time with them. Just sit by the brooder, talk softly, move slowly. Never reach for a chick from overhead. They have an instinctual fear of things grabbing them from above; like an aerial predator would. Remember that treats are the way to a chickens heart and you can start introducing simple, easy to digest ones after they are a few weeks old.

    Some of their friendliness is going to have to do with their breed. I prefer the large, gentle giants like my brahmas to the more skittish breeds like leghorns or gamebirds. That's just my opinion.
     

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