What would happen if...

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Xtina, Feb 17, 2011.

  1. Xtina

    Xtina Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 1, 2008
    Portland, Oregon
    ...you put new chicks into a run with two adult hens? Would they kill the chicks? Would they sit on them to keep them warm? This is something I've always wondered. I'm not going to do it. I have a trusty brooding box I just bought for the chicks I'm getting in two weeks. I was just curious. What does it take to get a hen to brood chicks that aren't her own or that she didn't hatch?
  2. Pinky

    Pinky Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 15, 2008
    South GA
    Well, they could either kill them, or like you said, care for them, but I wouldn't do it unless the hen was already broody.
  3. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    In order to accept chicks, a hen must be broody, and the success rate is higher if she has been broody longer than two weeks. Non broody hens are likely to kill small chicks.
  4. Xtina

    Xtina Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 1, 2008
    Portland, Oregon
    Good to know! Maybe next time my barred rock is broody, I'll put her on chick brooding duty. She tends to brood forever. I tried having her set on fertilized eggs, but both times she shared her nesting box with the other ladies, which caused them to get jostled around too much and break.
  5. Kaceyx73

    Kaceyx73 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 14, 2010
    I don't know about the hens, but my roo Mr. Vic pretty much raised my flock after I got them out of the brooder at about 3 weeks. He was an adult when I got him, and did so because I have yard cats. The intention was he would keep the cats from being too interested in the ladies. Well, he didn't seem to pleased at first, but he was never mean. They wanted to cuddle on the roost, but he only let a couple get too close. Of course, the girls are all grown up, and he seems quite pleased with his harem, all 'cept that darn roo in the mix. He even taught him the ropes, but now that Roo is 7mons and wanting a piece of the action, he gets chased around the run. Much I think is playfullness, but still he does his job without getting really violent.

    That said, the most violence I have seen from my flock is from the ladies. Beware, they take that pecking order shiite serious... I've seen quite a few full on floggings like a couple of gamecocks getting it on. Not to mention the nightly fights over who is roosting where. Throwing small chicks into that mix doesn't seem like a good idea to me. My girls, as boisterous as they are, have never really hurt each other. Vic does a good job of putting offenders in their place. But small chicks? Only with a broody mom or at least an adopted one...
  6. Xtina

    Xtina Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 1, 2008
    Portland, Oregon
    Interesting. It's going to be an experience integrating the pullets in with the hens when the time comes.
  7. BeccaB00

    BeccaB00 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 16, 2010
    One of my hens hatched one little chick out last year,

    and she cared for it, and took care of it for a few days till

    we got the seperate coop/hutch ready for them (it was made

    so it'd be easy to care for the chicks) So we caught the chick first,

    and therefore leaving them seperated for like 5 minutes.

    when we put the poor little chick in with mom,

    she had so much hate for that little chick. We ended up having to

    raise the chick indoors in a brooder cause the mom bout' killed the

    poor thing. So basically, my answer would be no, unless the hen is

    broody. [​IMG]
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2011

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