Will my chicken adopt chicks even if she isn't really broody?

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by HappyStorm, May 2, 2017.

  1. HappyStorm

    HappyStorm New Egg

    May 2, 2017
    Northern Nevada
    I'm new to this website; just joined about 45 minutes ago. I currently only have one chicken and I need a bit of help.
    In about February, my flock of nine hens were killed by a dog. Two days later, we found one surviving chicken, our Ameraucana, who had spent the two nights following her comrades' passing in a snowy field with no shelter in the midst of a midnight snowstorm. She was dehydrated, starving, and was in shock. She had been at the bottom of the pecking order. For the next few weeks, she didn't do anything except sit on her wooden perch in the coop.
    A couple months later, in April, she laid her first egg. She's a year old, so we thought she didn't have it in her because our previous hens had started laying after about three or four months. She hasn't gone through any broody stages yet, and we wanted to get a few chicks. We aren't sure if we should have our chicken raise them, however. She used to sleep on her perch, but now she sleeps on her eggs, which we've begun to leave in her nest in hopes that she'll become broody. She seems to have an interest in hatching her unfertilized eggs, but doesn't quite meet the broody-chicken requirements. She sits in her little run ( We have her in a small-dog proofed run with a hen house for now until we finish the bigger one) in the dirt from about 1:30- 4:00, the rest of the time spent in her nest. Whenever I walk out there, she immediately crouches as if I'm a rooster about to mount her as soon as she spots me, even if I'm fifty feet away. (I've never noticed this behavior in any of my chickens before)
    To get to the point, I was wondering if it's possible to switch out her eggs for chicks sometime soon, even if she's not super broody? You know, the classic exchange of chicks for eggs in the dead of night. We don't have to worry about the other hens peckig at the chicks, I'm just worried how my chicken will react. We're going to try to help her get broody, by turning off the heating lamp in her house. (We have one in there because it helps her lay eggs...) I just plan on getting chicks within the next two weeks. I would appreciate some advice on what to do.
    Sorry for the super long story, I'm just really torn on if I should give letting my hen raise chicks a shot, or if I should do it like the past three times I've done it and raise them away from the older hens.
  2. TheTwoRoos

    TheTwoRoos Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 25, 2015
    She likely wont,but she may react aggressively.She could bring them in as hers and may begin showing them things,and or playing with them,hens do that sometimes.

    You could see how things go when put together.
  3. Chicken Girl1

    Chicken Girl1 Queen of the Coop

    Mar 3, 2015
  4. Gray Farms

    Gray Farms Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 11, 2016
    NW Missouri
    No she won't. And will either abandon them or very likely kill them.
  5. TheTwoRoos

    TheTwoRoos Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 25, 2015
    What Gray farms has said is not always true.Some hens will accept chicks,maybe not mother like accpt,but just enough to keep tehm around her.Just see what happens when put together.
  6. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    I would prefer to err on the side of caution. You never know what lurks inside a chicken's brain. Some broody mothers attack their own chicks. Whatever you try, be prepared to rush in and rescue them if need be.
    1 person likes this.
  7. Teila

    Teila Bambrook Bantams Premium Member

    G’Day from down under HappyStorm [​IMG] Welcome!

    I am so very sorry to hear of your loss [​IMG] She may not even be semi-broody, just lonely.

    Great advice on the chicks scenario to date so I will not add anything there but I did wonder if your heart was particularly set on chicks? You could try introducing a couple of hens around her age?

    Anyways, Integrating both chicks and adults have been recent Topics of the Week and you might find these threads of interest depending on which path you decide to go down:



    I hope you enjoy being a BYC member. There are lots of friendly and very helpful folks here so not only is it overflowing with useful information it is also a great place to make friends and have some fun.

    You might want to also pop in and say hello on your local thread: https://www.backyardchickens.com/f/26/where-am-i-where-are-you ‘Find your State’s thread.
  8. HappyStorm

    HappyStorm New Egg

    May 2, 2017
    Northern Nevada
    Thank you for all your help! Incredibly, she actually started brooding about a day after I posted this. We're going to be getting her some chicks in the next couple weeks, so hopefully it'll all go well.
  9. ILuvMyFlock

    ILuvMyFlock Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 2, 2017
    On the Farm
    I honestly wouldn't, some breeds I heard will possibly take in other birds but there's always risks... I've considered the same too but I just didn't think it was worth the risk. I almost always incubate and hatch, the only time I allow a bird of some type to hatch their eggs is if they're really broody and so forth. One of my female turkeys an eastern wild just hatched some of her own. I had a Muscovy hatch her own, sadly I think something got her and her babies.
  10. sawgirl13

    sawgirl13 New Egg

    May 8, 2017
    Prince George, VA
    So sorry for your loss, how terrible....Good luck with the chicks, I am new too!!

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