Slipping Chicks Under My Broody Hen?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Derpychick, May 18, 2016.

  1. Derpychick

    Derpychick Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 30, 2015
    Today my family and I bought three 2 week old chicks, and rescued a 2 day old duckling. Now I am wondering how I should slip them under my broody hen. She has rejected chicks in the past, but it was only because of the chicks being sickly. Should I slip them all under her tonight? Right now they are in a big bin with bedding, food and water. There is a heat lamp above them.
  2. mustangrooster

    mustangrooster Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have once tried this. But failed at doing so. Maybe because I did it during the day because the Chicks desperately needed a broody mum but it didn't work because she saw the difference (duh [​IMG]). However this is different..The chicks are two weeks old. They would be rather big. The mothers can tell the difference- That's why they can reject them. If you try doing it at night and be very sneaky (Unlike I was..[​IMG]) It should work. But do not stress. If you do you will only stress your broody. At nightfall Place one chick at a time under her. Make sure the chicks do not make to much noise or she'll be suspicious. (That's why it helps to place one chick at a time under her) and see her reaction. If she puts her head under her body and starts to peak don't immediately take the chicks out. Sometimes they do this to move the chicks to a place under their bodys that they feel comfortable with. If she continues peaking and you fear they will get hurt, It may be best to remove them. And try again when its later at night-She'll be to tired to care at that point.

    In my opinion you should try and put your duck under her first. Why? Because little duck is smaller you only have one therefor she is less likely to make a big harass she should just sit comfortably under mama. If she accepts her, Great!

    Wait a few more minutes or half an hour. Your choice. Then try to put your chicks under her. This intimidates the time apart that chicks hatch. Chances are she should accept them.

    Best of luck! [​IMG]
    Last edited: May 18, 2016
  3. scooter147

    scooter147 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 30, 2008
    Its a two way street. The chicks at two weeks probably won't want anything to do with a hen, the imprinted period if over.

    The ducks might work.

    I would try once it becomes completely dark in the coop. If the hen stays calm you will THEN have to get to the coop before day break so you can remove the ducks if the hen rejects them. A broody can kill youngsters with a good peck.

    I tried to slip 6 two day old chicks under a Maron earlier this spring (she was broody for at least a month). I followed my instructions above and she wanted ABSOLUTELY nothing to do with them. It was dark when I got in the coop that morning and at the very earliest hint of light she stood up a gave what I really thought was going to be a death blow to one chick. I removed the hen quickly to the run so I could save them.

    My experience is the bantam hens are much more likely to adopt chicks than a standard breed hen. I have had standard breed hens that want nothing to do with the chicks they incubated for 3 weeks and hatched.

    Any success I have had at chick adoption has been with the night method.

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