Will Momma hen accept new chicks weeks later?

nevrenufcritters

In the Brooder
May 23, 2017
26
7
24
I have two orders of day old chicks arriving soon. Just found out the second order wont arrive until two weeks after the first. :( I was planning to put them all under the same Silkie broody hen who is a tried and true chick raiser at the same time. Does anyone know if she would accept new chicks if she already has some that are two weeks old?
 

Eckielady

Songster
Feb 12, 2017
524
256
146
East Tennessee
So the chicks will be two weeks apart in age? I wouldn't risk it. In two weeks mama is going to be out and about with her babies. Even if she does accept the newborns there is no way they'll be able to keep up. That stinks that your order is going to be late.
 

azygous

Enabler
11 Years
Dec 11, 2009
23,838
34,489
1,122
Colorado Rockies
I'm in the camp of "why not try". Silkies are such pushovers, there's a chance she'll be happy to have a few more chicks, but at first they will be at a disadvantage as far as size and age, so here's my plan:

What I advise is to have a heating pad brooding system set up for when the second wave of chicks arrives. The Mama Heating Pad system closely simulates a broody hen. Brood these chicks in this manner for the first week. (See Blooie's thread on this topic here on this forum.)

To achieve your objective of having the chicks all be one big family, I would advise setting up the MHP system adjacent to the Silkie and her first chicks with a see-through partition separating the two groups. This way, the broodie and the two groups of chicks will get acquainted over that week.

When the second group of chicks is one week old, take down the partition and let them merge. Watch things very carefully when you first let them mingle. My bet is the Silkie will accept the new chicks with no drama. But be ready for anything. Your issue will be with her if things so south, not the chicks.

Leave MHP set up for a day or so to make sure all the chicks are going under the broody and none are being stranded. I'm betting on good odds this can work splendidly.
 

nevrenufcritters

In the Brooder
May 23, 2017
26
7
24
I have a rabbit pen that I put momma and eggs in before chicks arrive. I usually keep her in there until the chicks are about 2 or 3 weeks old and look like they are outgrowing it, then she moves to a dog crate under the coop, where she has free roam with her chicks. Yes, I worry that the new little ones will have different needs and also not be able to keep up with the older ones, and momma wont notice! I may have to try to raise in makeshift brooder myself and try to assimilate them into the crowd when they are a little older.
 

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom