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Will an "Ex-Broody Hen" Ever Accept New Chicks Bought From Hatchery?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by For The Love of Peeps, Jun 6, 2011.

  1. For The Love of Peeps

    For The Love of Peeps Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Kuna
    Long story short...Ok, so my hen had been setting for about 30 days. I finally opened an egg as they were starting to smell. It was runny-no development. [​IMG] So I was advised to start her over in laying and then setting, or purchase her some chicks.

    I opted to get the chicks-six-3 day old chicks. (Poor hen had been stting long enough) I removed the eggs and tried to introduce the chicks. She would not have it. My rooster actually was calling to the chicks to show them the food. And then he saw her peck them, and he started pecking them. [​IMG] My first mistake was I didn't do the egg/chick swap in the dark...I'm told. She continued to set in her nest for about 4 hrs and then finally left to free range, and has been off the nest every since. I tried to introduce the chicks on last Friday. I finally partioned off the coop, so the chicks would have their own space, and not be harmed.

    The chicks are currently in my house, as the weather has turned colder.

    So my question is...have you ever had a hen accept chicks after leaving her nest? Or is it a lost cause?

    Thanks so much in advance.
     
  2. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

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    Just slipped 11 under her tonight, I had eggs under her, but they were suppose to hatch today and nothing, and beginning to smell. for some reason a no go. I had wanted some different breeds anyway so had picked up some chicks at the feed store. I waited til nearly dark, and covered her head with a towel, so she would not peck at me, and dropped the chicks toward her back. The moment she heard them and felt them, she started shifting and talking to them. I cleaned out the eggs and disposed of them, and went back for a peak, and she was smiling, and cooing and not a chick in sight, all tucked away under neath her.

    I have done it 3 times with great luck, but it does work best if you do it after dark.

    This is the first time I have had a roo around with a hen and chicks, so we will see tomorrow how it goes. I will let the layers free range, and then let mama and babies out.

    MrsK
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2011
  3. For The Love of Peeps

    For The Love of Peeps Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Kuna
    Awwwww..... thats nice. Do You Think I Should Try It Again With These Chicks & My Hen After Dark?
     
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    If she has left the nest and is now roosting at night, I would not. I think you have a great chance of winding up with dead chicks if you try that. if she is back on the nest, yes, you can try. There is a risk, but maybe she will accept them.
     
  5. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

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    another thing that helps on the chick side, is let the chicks get a wee bit cold, and do not provide a heat lamp with the hen, they quickly find the nicest place is underneath mama. And they stick with her, as much as she sticks with them.
     
  6. For The Love of Peeps

    For The Love of Peeps Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Kuna
    Ok Thanks Ridgerunner & Mrs K. My chickens have never used their roost. [​IMG] They sleep in the straw. I will see how she acts this weekend when I am home, so I can supervise. I've had the chicks in the house as it has been cold and rainy. It's supposed to be nicer weather this weekend.
     
  7. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

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    I have a BO, and she accepted the chicks and they adore her! I have her in the same coop and run as the layers. I am not seeing any trouble with the other hens, but I have left the gate open so that they can free range. I do have a rooster, and he is a pretty good rooster, so maybe that helps. So far mama has kept the chicks in the run, but moves around it. I bet by tomorrow she may take them out for a bug or two. Now, she picks up the starter crumbles, and grinds it up for her babies. They eat it right out of her beak. So darn cute.

    Mrs.K
     

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