Sneaking chicks under a broody hen


12 Years
Mar 26, 2008
Orange county NY
I've been reading up on this- it seems to work.
I have two birds who are broody and I haven't been able to break them.
I was thinking about taking advantage and sticking 4-6 of my babies under them.
Unfortunately, my babies are 2 weeks old now. (but still pretty small)
Do you think this would fool the moms? Would the babies stay under the 'mom'?
I have put babies chicks under a broody hen lots of times. They take them really good, I do not know about some that age but I would do it at night. I think they will take them. I have fun at the local feed store and talk to the chicks there, even thought they never seen a mother hen, they all stop and listen. It want hurt to try. Good luck
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I agree, it doesn't hurt to try. I did it this year and it worked out great! The only thing...if your broody doesn't except them, be prepared to care for them. They get cold and by instinct will go under momma to get warm. Good luck!
My attempt at this failed. My broody has been sitting for more than 3 weeks, so I thought she would be happy to have 3 day old chicks. Everything seemed OK at first, but when I got up the next morning, she had pushed 2 out and was working on the third.

You might have trouble with the age of those chicks. They are not likely to be "obedient" since they don't already know mama's voice.

Let us know if you try and if it works!
The best way to do this is after dark when the hen is snoozing. Take the chicks, as young as possible and place them under her wings quickly and quietly. It has always worked for me. My most recent broody is an 'earth mother' type and all I had to do with her was place 6 additional chicks from the incubator in front of her. She stood up, spread her wings and they were adopted.This is only to be recommended for those hens who you know to be accepting of chicks she has not hatched. Use the first method for 'unknown' hens.
A friend's broody took 3 week old chicks last year- we moved the babies out to her barn (in a separate stall) and Mama Cochin was *desperate* to get in with them, so they let her in, and the rest is history. It's certainly worth a try!

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