Surrogate Momma Hen raising her chicks - watch for updates

1st Coop Hen

In the Brooder
5 Years
Feb 17, 2014
12
1
26
Good Morning/Evening Everyone,

I have a Black Star that has been sitting on 8 eggs for about 25 days now. I went yesterday and bought 10 less than 24 hour old chicks from a local hatchery. I added them to her nest one at a time, removing an egg each time. Unfortunately I wasn't able to grab all the eggs. I believe she still has one left under her. I didn't wait until dark to give them to her. I went out this morning and she has all of them still underneath her.

My question, is there anything I need or should be doing? They can't reach water or food unless they leave the nest. I've read they will be ok for about 72 hours. Because they are older than what her maternal instinct is saying is my concern. And about the one egg that is still in there, is that a problem? I figured once she left the nest with them I would get the last egg.

 
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1st Coop Hen

In the Brooder
5 Years
Feb 17, 2014
12
1
26
I decided to go for it and get them all set up down in the coop out of the nest. So far so good.



She is taking on motherhood just perfectly <3 <3 <3 She is one happy happy happy hen!
 

donrae

Hopelessly Addicted
Premium member
9 Years
Jun 18, 2010
31,453
3,898
581
Southern Oregon
I love momma hens!

Usually, when you graft chicks to a broody, she goes ahead and stays on the nest a day or two. Her brain says to stay and wait for the stragglers to hatch, she can't figure human intervention into her hormones. The chicks are fine to wait, they usually just hang out under her or on her, pecking at her wattles. When she gets off the nest, I clean out the hatching debris, including any unhatched eggs.

She looks so happy!
 

1st Coop Hen

In the Brooder
5 Years
Feb 17, 2014
12
1
26
Lost one chick yesterday. I knew she had one under her that wouldn't come out. Yesterday afternoon she finally abandoned as it lay all by itself on the ground, when I came to check on them one of the hundred times during the day lol. I brought it inside, wrapped it in a heating blanket. It passed away less than an hour later. :(

So now we have 9 chicks.
 

1st Coop Hen

In the Brooder
5 Years
Feb 17, 2014
12
1
26


I can't believe how much I am enjoying watching her with her chicks. It's amazing to watch her, she is teaching them everything she is suppose to (I think lol) She IS one happy Momma! And to think she was a chick not too long ago her self. She just started laying in February <3
 
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