Will a broody hen adopt chicks after only a couple days of being broody??!

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by candira, Mar 10, 2016.

  1. candira

    candira Out Of The Brooder

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    I've looked for an answer to this question everywhere, all I can find it info on getting your broody hen to adopt chicks. My situation is I have a hen that went broody a day or 2 ago. I always take advantage of the situation and would like her to sit on some eggs. Long story but right now I don't want to hatch any of my eggs bc of some roosters I have currently. But I did have eggs in the incubator that I really wanted to hatch and keep, (2 hatched today but i expect another 5 or so tomorrow) so I thought.... well that sucks, I could have just thrown these in with her. But that got me thinking? Does she know it's too soon for her eggs to hatch? Could she possibly accept the chick's even though it's only been a few days??? It may have even been up to a week. I was sick most of this week so I hadn't been checking in as much, but I did notice she was walking around all puffed up. That reminded me of when she went broody last august, that was how she walked when she went outside. Then I saw her all day long yesterday in the box. So has anyone tried this? Any advice please, and thank you!
     
  2. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

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    I'm not speaking from experience, but from what i have read here on BYC, the member suggested that theres a higher chance of a mother hen accepting chicks after the 21 day period - I assume that the "mothering" hormones are more likely to kick in around that time.

    I'm not suggesting that you do not try putting the chicks with the broody, but only if you watch her for the first few hours to make sure that she is not pecking the chicks. Be prepared to remove the chicks if your broody is not showing signs of positive acceptance of them (e.g. keeping them warm, leading them to water and food etc).

    Good luck

    CT
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. candira

    candira Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you for your help, I was thinking I should just try it. Well as it turns out another one of my hens went broody too! They haven't done this since last year! It's awesome, but not the best time! Anyway, I did go and put 5 of the chick's under her tonight and took the 3 fake eggs out that I had under her. The chick's got quite and she seems to just be keeping them under her. I don't know if she just hasn't figured it out yet? But I checked back several times and she is still just sitting all flattened out with them under her. So I hope this means they will be ok. I will be mad at myself if anything happens to them. But if things go well, I may add some more tomorrow. The only thing is I didn't really expect this many to hatch and I'm afraid to put too many under her (if she accepts them). Any ideas on how many she should safely be able to raise? I put 5 under her and 6 more have hatched. By tomorrow though l, I expect another 2 to hatch. Is 13 pushing it? She is a Rhode Island red. Thanks! :)
     
  4. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    It takes a few weeks for those hormones to reach the point where she will accept chicks. Is she a first time broody? Not every broody makes for a good mother. If she hasn't proven to be a good mother, don't trust her to adopt chicks. It's just too risky.
     
  5. candira

    candira Out Of The Brooder

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    No, this would be her second time. And she was an excellent mom last time but I let her sit on eggs and hatch them. I didnt have many chickens then (16, I now have roughly 160) and only 1 roo who wasnt doing his job yet. So I set 12 eggs that I got from some guy. Only 2 hatched, but only 3 had chicks in them, the rest were clear. But now im worried, im wonderng if i need to get out of bed and get them out of there? I was planning on getting up super early to run out and check on them...
     
  6. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    Check on them first thing. Watch how she reacts to them. She probably doesn't even realize they are under her right now, but come morning, she will. If she's super motherly (as some hens are) she may take them. But be prepared for her to reject them if her hormones aren't strong enough to have those chick-caring instincts triggered.
     
  7. candira

    candira Out Of The Brooder

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    Ok thank you so much! That completely answered my questions and concerns. I will be out there very early to check, and if she is like she is now (possibly not even knowing they are under her) then i will pull them anyway. Not worth the risk, i would rather keep my babies where I know they are safe! I still dont want her or the other broody hatching any of my eggs right now though, but in 2 or 3 weeks i can get some pullets from tractor supply or something that they will hopefully adopt. Thanks for your help, and speedy reply... i was worried! Thanks!!
     
  8. Sooner Magnolia

    Sooner Magnolia Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Could you post an update? Did everything work out? Thanks
     
  9. FarmerMac

    FarmerMac Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I had one hen go broody the same week my two chicks hatched. I put the two chicks under her and she took them but since her hormones were not at full peak, she only raised the chiks for about three weeks then she stated laying eggs again and did not want to stay with them. She peckked at them and had to separate them. I had to put a heat lamp in their section of the coop for the two chciks to stay warm.
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2016
  10. Samkeidenkeiran

    Samkeidenkeiran Out Of The Brooder

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    Any more answers on how this went im in the same situation fml
     

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