Sneaking chicks under broody

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
11 Years
Feb 2, 2009
25,699
15,725
777
Southeast Louisiana
Typically over three weeks since I often put eggs in the incubator at the same time I put eggs under the broody. It takes a few days to gather enough eggs. Usually I'm adding chicks to her hatch but occasionally it's just incubator chicks, like the time the snake ate all the broody's eggs.

But that's not your situation. You have some chicks hatching in your incubator or coming in the mail already and a hen just went broody. Maybe you have a source of newly hatched chicks that won't be there later. Can you give them to that broody? You can try. I've been in those situations. One time I was successful with a hen that had been broody two days. Another time I failed when she had been broody 3 or 4 days. One time I had a partial failure when she had been broody over three weeks.

In the ideal situation I would plan it for two to three weeks. I think it is better. But you don't have that mythical ideal situation, you have a situation (and opportunity) in front of you now. Try it. It might work or it might not and you have to brood them yourself. Just be prepared for either eventuality.
 

chickens really

Crazy Mother of Goat Kids
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Sep 8, 2015
62,566
108,576
1,647
The Funny Farm....Alberta, Canada
Hello..I have a Silkie Hen that raised her Silkie Chicks till they were almost 6 weeks and I got my order from the hatchery of 11 Speckled Sussex Chicks. The Chicks were peeping so much I brought in the Silkie Hen and she adopted those babies..
It really depends on the Hen. It will either work or it won't..:frow
 

slordaz

hatchaholic
5 Years
Apr 15, 2015
3,456
6,383
602
Idaho
besides what the eggsperts have said, I have had better success adding them at night when I can watch for a bad reaction to the chicks, then I am up early the next morning extra early if the night introduction was ok to make sure she's taken to them and no issues with her attacking them. The younger the better too. I do have one persistent broody that failed to hatch but also would not accept the chicks or eggs and have not been able to break here still, I have had one she'd left the nest with ones that had already hatched and getting the 2 day late hatcher took me about a week to get mom to accept but eventually I did get with her other 5 chicks
 

21hens-incharge

Slightly nuts
6 Years
Mar 9, 2014
20,293
83,426
1,542
Northern Colorado
My best broody takes chicks readily at 18 days brooding or longer.

She has taken them at being broody just over a week.

A couple years ago she had chicks for over a week when a friend asked me to split an order with her. Those chicks could be heard by her and she was batty wanting them too even though her group was beating two weeks old. No I did not give them to her.

Always be ready to brood them in case they are rejected.
 

chickens really

Crazy Mother of Goat Kids
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Sep 8, 2015
62,566
108,576
1,647
The Funny Farm....Alberta, Canada
Definitely I think they need to be Broody long enough that the hormones are high and they have switched from setting to hatching.
My one Hen hatched Chicks and it was a staggered hatch. I incubated the straggler and three days later gave it to her. She was so excited and tucked the baby under her with the rest.
 

Eric R

Songster
Jul 12, 2017
161
196
141
Magnolia, TX
I just let a week or so go by then she gets day to 3 day old chicks placed UNDER her at night. Daytime never works for me. At night they can only feel and hear them so she will spend hrs with them before she sees them to attack them and by that time she just accepts them. Close the door, wait a few minutes and listen to make sure she isn't attacking them but if you hear a squeak here and there don't panic. She may just be trying to peck at them to get them back under her if they got out. When you do 10 chicks like I do some are bound to come out. The smaller the box the better so they don't wander off to some corner at night and get cold. They will quickly realize she is their new source of warmth. As long as there is no constant squeaking I leave and check back 2 more times every 30 minutes. I just listen again and may just feel for a stray chick if I hear one. "I'm lost" sounds way different than "I'm being attacked" You should eventually just hear calm chiping or nothing from the chicks and purring from mom or nothing.
 

PirateGirl

Chicken Lover, Duck Therapist
Mar 11, 2017
7,170
18,189
622
South Park, Colorado, USA
Thank you everyone this advice is all good. Essentially, I have a persistent broody. I think she went broody 4 times last summer, never laid eggs, and every time I broke her a week or two later she was broody again. This summer when she went broody the first time I gave her eggs, which she hatched, and raised and only recently the littles went to live with a friend of mine (maybe 8 weeks old, we wanted them to be able to be without heat in our outdoor temps). She had only been laying eggs again for a week and has already quit laying again and been sitting in the nest box for a week. :rolleyes: So long story short, I know she is generally determined to sit, and I know she is capable of raising littles, but this time around she has only been sitting a week. I think, based on what you all said, that I will let her sit one more week. If they still have fall chick days chicks I will give her a few, if not, I will break her. I don't really want her sitting much longer than that if she isn't raising anything. This really can't be good for her in the long run, all these crazy hormones. Also it sounds like sneaking them in at night is best since they'll all be locked in the coop at night regardless.
 

21hens-incharge

Slightly nuts
6 Years
Mar 9, 2014
20,293
83,426
1,542
Northern Colorado
Thank you everyone this advice is all good. Essentially, I have a persistent broody. I think she went broody 4 times last summer, never laid eggs, and every time I broke her a week or two later she was broody again. This summer when she went broody the first time I gave her eggs, which she hatched, and raised and only recently the littles went to live with a friend of mine (maybe 8 weeks old, we wanted them to be able to be without heat in our outdoor temps). She had only been laying eggs again for a week and has already quit laying again and been sitting in the nest box for a week. :rolleyes: So long story short, I know she is generally determined to sit, and I know she is capable of raising littles, but this time around she has only been sitting a week. I think, based on what you all said, that I will let her sit one more week. If they still have fall chick days chicks I will give her a few, if not, I will break her. I don't really want her sitting much longer than that if she isn't raising anything. This really can't be good for her in the long run, all these crazy hormones. Also it sounds like sneaking them in at night is best since they'll all be locked in the coop at night regardless.
What breed is this nutty about chicks gal?
 

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