Would you try to add 1 week olds to a mama with 4 week olds?


Oct 28, 2018
Pagosa Springs, CO
I have a 2 yr old broody that is now a 1st time surrogate mama. Couldn’t break her broodiness for weeks and finally gave in, giving her 2 EE day-olds. 2 days later, we added two 1-week old broiler chicks and she accepted them no problem. I have chicks hatching at a breeder today that I’ll be picking up in about a week, and I’m wondering if I could try to give them to the current mama since I don’t have any other broody hens. She is a very tame mama and seems like all she wants is to raise chicks. I have a backup brooder in case it all goes to hell. I’m inclined to give it a shot, just because I’ve realized how much more I prefer letting the hen raise them. After I only had the broiler chicks in my brooder for 2 days... she is way better and into being a chick mama than I am! Any thoughts? Would you try it? Thanks for any feedback/experience!
That’s what I was wondering... the current chicks are starting to go off on their own more and more. In a week, the broiler won’t even be a factor because they’ll probably be as big as their adoptive mom! And they are more independent than the EE chicks that are 3 wks old. Dang I really wish one of the others would go broody for me! I so prefer the hens raising them.
I would be surprised if 1 week old chicks would accept a broody, they are not imprinted to her. I’ve had one broody silkies try to mother with another silkies broody and the chicks would have no part of it unless both hens were there from the beginning.
UPDATE: For the last 2 days, another of my EE hens has been sticking to the nest! Today she was there all day. I grabbed the laid eggs she was on & replaced them with a couple fake eggs, just to encourage her to go deeper into her broodiness. Any thoughts on whether or not giving her the chicks 5 nights from now (if she stays broody & consistent on the nest) would be too soon for her or worth a try? She will have been broody for just 7 days...

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