Will she adopt the chicks?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by imanerd, Oct 31, 2009.

  1. imanerd

    imanerd In the Brooder

    Aug 28, 2009
    Saucier, MS
    I have a white leghorn that has been injured and I have her inside in a cage. I put some eggs in her cage because its been my experience that even non-broody hens are calmer when they have an egg or two to sit on.

    I just happen to have some incubated eggs hatching tomorrow. What would happen if I let her hatch a few? Would she accept them as her own? Her injury isn't that bad but I brought her in to medicate her just in case. She is my favorite girl...very sweet!!! I would love to see her with babies because she is the dominant hen.

  2. mulia24

    mulia24 Songster

    first [​IMG]

    second, according to many thread i've read, yes, she will accept it.

  3. The Sheriff

    The Sheriff Crowing

    Jun 17, 2009
    Northern CA
    I don't think broodiness can be forced on a hen as a rule. I am sure more experienced people will chime in though.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 31, 2009
  4. marc81

    marc81 Chirping

    Oct 3, 2009
    I dont see why she wouldn't take care of them;)
  5. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    If she has not sat on eggs for at least a week, and is not broody, likely she will peck and kill the chicks. Hens will usually ONLY accept chicks after a stint of hormone induced insanity (broodyness) and this is not even always 100%. If a hen just hatched chicks, 99% of the time you can give her more. No chicks, no broody, asking for a disaster.

    If you have a broody hen, she goes through a natural chick care progression based on her own internal clock. The first few days she will sit close to the ground and not move much for the chicks to gain strength, then over time, she will move around more and more and teach the babies what to do. If you introduce a two week old chick to a mommy hen who just hatched out a few day olds, she will sit on her day olds and the two week old chicks won't be shown around as they should yet. If you give day olds to a mom who is raising a two week old chick, she will run around on the two week in program and the day olds will likely get chilled.

    Broodiness can't be forced, only encouraged. If you are lucky she might tolerate them, but if you want these chicks to grow up, I'd not try it.
  6. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    Why not try her out with an egg or two from the refrigerator(warmed to room temperature), so you don't risk her destroying a fertile egg. If she's fine with it, give her some good ones.
  7. imanerd

    imanerd In the Brooder

    Aug 28, 2009
    Saucier, MS
    I went ahead and put 4 good eggs in her cage and she happily went over and sat on them. So we'll see in the next day or two if she accepts the chicks...I'll be keeping a close eye to make sure she doesn't peck at them and will post an update.

    BTW, thank you for the responses!!!

  8. Judy

    Judy Crowing Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Just watch closely; leghorns are one of the least broody breeds.

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