what would have happened IF.......

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Mixed Pen, Feb 22, 2015.

  1. Mixed Pen

    Mixed Pen Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 17, 2013
    AUSTRALIA
    Hen on eggs, 2 hatch day 21 + 22, day 23 hen and chicks go off the nest leaving remaining 3 eggs, i notice mid arvo this, then tap and listen one egg cheeping, i come back after dark to see if hen returns to nest, but does not (assuming because 2 chicks can not quite get back home) however 3 young chooks from last hatch are all sitting on the nest, i decided to take remaining eggs to put in incubator,

    my question is.... if this chick that hatched that night in the incubator had have been left in the nest with the other birds what is the likely out come ??? would it have hatched and the hen got it to join the other two or would it have been rejected and attacked??
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    They are living animals. There is no way to say what would have happened.

    It is possible the egg would have hatched if you had left it. Chicks that close to hatch generate a lot of heat, but whether it would have hatched or not would depend on how long it as there and the temperature. Humidity would play a role too. It’s possible and even probable it would have died.

    It’s possible the other hens would have ignored it but it is also possible they would have attacked and killed it. I’ve had 3 day old chicks get themselves isolated from the broody and mixed with the rest of the flock and the other hens did not bother them. I’ve had hens threaten a chick but the broody stopped that pretty quickly when they were with her. I’ve never lost a chick to another adult flock member but some of that may be luck.

    Most of the time my broodies do not take their chicks to a nest but instead go to a corner of the coop to keep them overnight. I have had a few go to a nest though. Each chicken is an individual. It’s surprising how well baby chicks can jump.

    The hen and chicks bond with each other in the nest before she leads them out but some broody hens will adopt anything. If the hen had come back into the coop and heard a baby chirping she might have adopted it. It’s possible she would attacked it. Since she had not bonded with it I think it is probable she would have ignored it.

    You can try slipping it under her tonight after dark and see if she will adopt it. If you wanted you could even try to give it to her in daylight. I’ve had hens accept a chick that way but leaving it under her overnight is probably your best bet. Just check early tomorrow and see how she is treating it. There is some risk in doing this but I think a fairly good chance of success as long as the chicks are only a couple of days old.

    Good luck!
     
  3. Mixed Pen

    Mixed Pen Out Of The Brooder

    75
    1
    43
    Dec 17, 2013
    AUSTRALIA
    i decided to keep it in the brooder box, i already have one rejected on in there from the last hatch, so i figure there is no difference between brooding one or 2 (or 3 as it looks like it may be one other egg hatching now)
     

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