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Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by I <3 Chicks, Jan 29, 2011.
will a broody hen adopt new baby chicks I was just curious.
Yes, but I don't know if she needs to sit on eggs first, or if you can just give her chicks right away. I had a broody sit on a nest last spring. On day 25, I gave up on the eggs and bought some chicks at the feed store. Went out at night, slipped the chicks under her, took the eggs away, and in the morning they were all one happy family! (The eggs hadn't developed at all - don't know why the eggs weren't fertile.)
Yes, let her sit for a week or 2 on fake eggs (chickens can't count), then at night slip day old chicks in and remove the fake eggs. Watch carefully in the morning to make sure she accepts them. Don't give her any older than day old chicks though, the older the chicks get, the more chance of her rejecting them. There's nothing sweeter than a mama hen and her babies.
I hatched 38 Salmon faverolle chicks, & when they got old enough, I put them in with the older birds. My 7 year old EE hen instantly went over & tried to show them how to scratch up food, like she hatched them. They've been unseperable ever since. Step-mom takes care of her step-children!
I had 10 RIR and 10 BO chicks and when I took them outside my black australorp hen tried to steal them from me. She tried her best to feed them through the wire, but I didn't know how she would react if they were actually with her onthe other side. She seemed really interested in caring for them. When the chicks grew up one of the buffs cared for a chick that my game hen lost when it squeezed out of the pen it was in. They are always together now
So for mail order chicks:
A week or two before they are due to arrive I separate broody mama and a few eggs into the brooder/mommy pen.
The night after the babies arrive I slip them under mama in the dark, removing the eggs.
Once I know she has taken to the babies, can I let them all out and she can then lead them into the regular chicken house and raise them like she did her others?
Another question: how many is too many? The most i have seen this hen hatch is eight. I am ordering 15 or so.
Should I put a lamp in there too in case she kicks them out?
I really want to try this! I have a supermama and would love her to care for the new biddies...