Will a hen accept 4 day old chicks if she has just hatched 1 day old chicks of her own?

buttersbrood

In the Brooder
Oct 5, 2021
22
49
39
Aotearoa New Zealand
Hi there!
We have a lovely little bantam, who has sat on 6 fertile (mailed) eggs for 23 days now. They are 3 Barnevelder and 3 Araucana eggs. We almost gave up on the eggs, as only one of the Barnevelders looked viable, and we found it hard to candle the Araucanas.
So we bought 5 chicks to put under our hen, just so at least shr had some chicks! Day 23 has just started, and we intended to put the bought chicks (3 day today) under her tonight. However, when we candled one of the eggs, just to make sure all are definitely not going to hatch, one of the Barnevelders chirped! (the one we thought might be viable) We could clearly see its beak in the airsack too.

We are overjoyed. Also confused! So we left all eggs under mum, didn't touch any of the others as we don't want to disturb them, in case there's more live ones.

We now have one or more chicks hatching probably tomorrow, plus our 5 3/4 day old bought chicks.....


My question is: can we still put the older, bought chicks (currently under a heatlamp) under the hen, once the eggs have hatched? Can you mix day old and 4 day old chicks? And will the hen accept the older chicks?

What a mess! 😏
 

buttersbrood

In the Brooder
Oct 5, 2021
22
49
39
Aotearoa New Zealand
Any help much appreciated:
The chick hatched this morning!

But it was next to the nest, not under the hen! Very floppy, wet, but still warm.

I popped it under the hen, she pecked at it once. So I took it, popped it under her at the back of her wing/side.

It's still alive, I heard it cheep once but very faintly. It seems very weak.

Any ideas of what to do, and how old this chick might be? Looked fully formed and no defects, just very, very weak.
 

buttersbrood

In the Brooder
Oct 5, 2021
22
49
39
Aotearoa New Zealand
Thank you for posting nestbox pic. I give my broodys a smaller nestbox than yours so new hatchees can Only stay under mom for warmth after hatching, but there's more than one way to hatch a baby, possibly your new chick would have soon wiggled back under mom. Is the front of nest box blocked off so the chick cant escape? Because by tomorrow morning you will discover the first-hatched chick is exploring Everywhere! Just make sure it cant fall out of nest box or otherwise be separated from mama hen's warmth. Congratulations on your first sucessful hatch, & i hope your broody hatches more!
Great tips, thank you so much! It won't be able to fall out of the nest box, as it's actually on the floor of a small coop, next to the nesting box...
My daughter and I just had a quick peek, and this is what we saw. Chick & mum doing great.
Don't think there will be any more chicks, but will wait till tonight and candle the remaining 2 eggs.
Exciting times!
 

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