Will broody hen accept older chicks?


15 Years
Apr 20, 2007
Benton Twp., Michigan
I have a hen that has been setting for 5 weeks. She decided to set on some eggs that one our ducks had laid in the chicken coop. Weird, but whatever.

I’ve checked the duck eggs, and they’re all bad. Nothing but liquid in them. I was thinking of putting a couple chicks under her, but can’t get day-old chicks right now. There are chicks at the TSC, but they’re about 2 weeks old. Would the hen accept them?
She is likely open to taking them on. The problem will be with the chicks as they will be slow to imprint. I would confine them very close to her, yet so the hen cannot assail them if she tries. At first the chicks will be scared of the hen regardless. The more time and closer to her the faster the imprinting process will progress. What you are considering is very similar to combing to two groups of chicks, except in this case, the larger chick being the broody hen may not attack them. That is she may not. I have done as you are considering, but it is a time investment that may not be justified for just two chicks. Use of a brooder may be a better use of your time.

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