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

Allsfairinloveandbugs

Crowing
Premium Feather Member
Feb 10, 2020
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Far north texas
It takes a lot of energy and effort for a chick to escape its egg, so for the first 12 hours a chick will rest and recover. By 24 hours after hatch chicks become much more active, investigating their surroundings and darting in and out from underneath mama hen.

How did the chick get out of the nestbox and separated from the broody hen? Can you send a photo of your hatching setup? Do what is required to make sure it cant get away from her warmth. If its cheeping loudly, that may mean its cold, but hopefully will warm up and quieten down soon.

As far as introducing older chicks to a broody that has hatched her own chicks, ive done that many times. The key to 100% acceptance is give the feedstore chicks to your broody before she ever takes her own chick(s) out of the hatching box for the first time. Once she sees her own chicks she hatched, she may reject the feedstore chicks as unwanted intruders. When you are sure all viable eggs have hatched, remove the remaining eggs and give the feedstore chicks to your broody at night. Put the feedstore chicks behind and underneath her tail. Do so in complete darkness except for a small flashlight. Her own hatchees & the feedstore chicks will snuggle together all night, & in the next morn be good to go. I have used this method with broodys that would otherwise Not accept chicks they didnt hatch, & have introduced feedstore chicks up to 3 weeks old.
 

Allsfairinloveandbugs

Crowing
Premium Feather Member
Feb 10, 2020
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Also, I'm worried the hen will peck it or not accept it when she hops off the nest for her morning food and toileting. Do I hover around while and wait until she eats? She's okay with the chick under her now, but I'm not sure she's even aware of it?

Thank you so much for your help. Poor little chick!
Try not to worry too much. (Easier said than done i know.) Your broody is focused on hatching her remaining eggs (viable or not), & the first hatchee should mostly rest and recover the rest of today and all night. By tomorrow morning it will be much more active and impatient, but it wont starve. Since you dont know if the remaining eggs are alive, you may want to give them a chance through tomorrow night to see if any more hatch.

Broodys will peck lightly at their new chicks to "keep them in line", i.e. move them to where mama hen wants them to go. (Since chickens dont have hands so they have to use their beaks.) As long as any pecks are light and dont seem to intend harm, all is well. It Is true that some "bad moms" will hurt or even kill their chicks, but that is Very rare. Keep a watchful eye, but try not to worry. It sounds like your broody is doing just fine.🙂
 

buttersbrood

In the Brooder
Oct 5, 2021
22
49
39
Aotearoa New Zealand
It takes a lot of energy and effort for a chick to escape its egg, so for the first 12 hours a chick will rest and recover. By 24 hours after hatch chicks become much more active, investigating their surroundings and darting in and out from underneath mama hen.

How did the chick get out of the nestbox and separated from the broody hen? Can you send a photo of your hatching setup? Do what is required to make sure it cant get away from her warmth. If its cheeping loudly, that may mean its cold, but hopefully will warm up and quieten down soon.

As far as introducing older chicks to a broody that has hatched her own chicks, ive done that many times. The key to 100% acceptance is give the feedstore chicks to your broody before she ever takes her own chick(s) out of the hatching box for the first time. Once she sees her own chicks she hatched, she may reject the feedstore chicks as unwanted intruders. When you are sure all viable eggs have hatched, remove the remaining eggs and give the feedstore chicks to your broody at night. Put the feedstore chicks behind and underneath her tail. Do so in complete darkness except for a small flashlight. Her own hatchees & the feedstore chicks will snuggle together all night, & in the next morn be good to go. I have used this method with broodys that would otherwise Not accept chicks they didnt hatch, & have introduced feedstore chicks up to 3 weeks old.
Thanks so much for your detailed reply, it's really great and much appreciated.

I think it might have rolled out perhaps when hatching? Was 2inches/5cm away from mum. I've posted a photo of the nesting box.

I'll wait till tomorrow night, when I'm sure no other eggs will hatch and this chick's a little stronger. Then I'll put the other older chicks under too
 

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Allsfairinloveandbugs

Crowing
Premium Feather Member
Feb 10, 2020
1,020
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Far north texas
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!
 

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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