What if? Anyone ever try this?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by MiniBeesKnees, May 16, 2010.

  1. I'm getting ready to set eggs in an incubator...probably Tuesday. I have two hens that their mother and two sisters went broody. So there is a chance that they may in the next say 26 days. This is the first time I've incubated so frankly, if I get 50% I'll be lucky...and I'm not too sure how many eggs I have anyway. Probably eighteen or twenty come Tues.

    I've had good luck with OE broody Bantams and have 13 chicks this year from last year's hatches...and a hen on 16 eggs. Those are my egg chickens, and my replacement hens. I already have enough with what I plan to over winter. I'm going to over winter seven hens and one roo.

    I have a 2 Seabrights and a Duccle hen none of whom are laying well, or showing signs of going broody. From these I want chicks and I figure I'll get them from the second or third hatch in the bator. I do have two or three eggs from them now...and a couple from a mutt pair I love and will keep...she is laying too, but not broody yet but may get there too in the next 26 days.

    Here is what I'm thinking. I'm willing to hatch chicks but I'm not as excited about raising them until they can go out into the flock. What if one or more of those hens goes broody...can I leave the eggs under her for some period of time and switch them out with the new incubator chicks? Say she is only broody for three or four days...would that be long enough she'd adopt them ya think? I think if she sat for two weeks plus it would work, but how much less then that has anyone tried?

    I'd take the eggs under the sitting hen and put them in the incubator...the worst that can happen is I'd have to raise them...but if they are OE then I can sell them any Tuesday at a local weekly meet.

    Here's another dumb question...I've had a Banty sit on 13 eggs, and had ten live chicks of which eight remain and are five weeks old. Now I have one on 16 eggs due the 28th of this month. When she gets off the nest I feel them and they are all hot, so I guess she is covering them all.

    Has anyone ever tried adding a chick or two to a brand new 'litter'....?
    The weather is warm here so heat is not an issue...given that...how many chicks can a hen mother? By that I mean keep in the nest at night, and teach to feed and forage. I don't think a hen can count so if I slipped a couple chicks under a hen with say seven or eight chicks she would notice...that is if she accepted them.
    I plan on being there continuously to see what happens. Anyone ever had a hen hatch this huge number of chicks and raise them successfully? Like a dozen or 15?

    Inquiring minds want to know...
  2. nobody?
  3. monita

    monita Songster

    Oct 6, 2009
    Shelbyville, Tennessee
    If the chicks are close in age you can add them in with the others at night and she will take to it.... well my hens do anyway. If i have more than a few chicks i want to add in with a hen i only add them one or two at a time. that way she dont' notice the difference.
  4. gwill23

    gwill23 Songster

    Mar 14, 2010
    Grangeville Idaho
    Well, I am going to try it. I have a Buff Orpington sitting on 15 eggs and she is due Tuesday. I have 24 more eggs due in two weeks that are in an incubator at my daughter's school. So I have my most friendly Buff Orpington sitting on a few golf balls and I am hoping to slip her the chicks when they get here.

    I'll let you know what happens.
  5. Thanx for the replies...This is my first try with an incubator so everything is experimental.

    I just added this up and I think I'll need intervention. I expected to get three chickens, no rooster.
    Within six months I had a dozen...and four roos.
    If half those under my hen hatch, and half of those in the incubator hatch...
    I'll have 48 chickens!!
    What happened?

    I DID build a coop much bigger than I thought I'd need.
    Next late fall I'm going to have 20 hens and four roos...that's it!
    Well, maybe five roos...one of my teenagers is just feathering out to be a beautiful little guy.
  6. chick4chicks

    chick4chicks Songster

    Apr 6, 2008
    N.E. Pa.
    Mini, what happened to you is known as chicken math. You keep getting more and more but don't know how it happened hence chicken math. Good luck. I was going to have 6 chickens max, I now have app 31 adults, 3 chicks, 6 adult banties and 6 baby banties. LOL that darn chicken math, gotta love it tho.
  7. Well, I'm so glad that is cleared up. Chicken math. Took Alg, Trig, and Geom but chicken math was not required for my 'degree'...[​IMG]

    I'm one of those folks who always have a PLAN, and a plan B. All these chickens were not in the PLAN!!

    And I keep eyeballing Silkies since they are so cute...and I do have floor space available as the rooster jails are hung from the ceiling.
    I don't need Silkies, and I never wanted Silkies before...but I've even decided I want gray ones. Chicken Math. Gotcha.
  8. rancher hicks

    rancher hicks Crowing

    Feb 28, 2009
    Syracuse, NY
    I recently had a hen go broody and took eggs from another broody that was due in 9 days. Eggs hatched and she seems happy. Anythings is worth a shot right?
  9. So she considered nine days long enough to be broody?
    So there must be no 'clock' in the chicken she must respond to the movement and the eggs hatching.
  10. rancher hicks

    rancher hicks Crowing

    Feb 28, 2009
    Syracuse, NY
    She's got chicks and she seems happy so who am I to argue with a mother hen?

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by