Slipping chicks under broody hen

johanna_h(Z5 SW MI)March 21, 2010

I was planning this weekend to buy four chicks and slip them under my broody hen. One egg had hatched a chick I found dead in the nest, so it seemed the ideal time. But in the 24 hours before I go to the store, the broody left that nest and the remaining three eggs and has started a new nest.

My question is, would she accept live chicks slipped under her at night when she just began this new nest, or will she have a sense of time to know that her current eggs are too young to hatch? Do I have to wait three weeks before I try this trick?

--Johanna

Here is a link that might be useful: My place: Busy Solitude Farm

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goldenpond((Vero.Beach FL 9b))

I tired it with my duck and she tried to kill them.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2010 at 8:00PM
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calliope(6)

Hard to guess. She may know something about those eggs you don't if she deserted the nest. I have had hens 'adopt' and nurture hatchery chicks. She huddled them under her wings each night for so long, her wings looked like a 747 for a week after she quit. Even had a roo who slept in front of her and the chicks to guard them, but it could have just as easily gone the other way. In Michigan.....with your weather, I'd brood them under lights.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2010 at 12:50AM
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eric_wa(San Juan, z8 WA)

I've never tried it, but read on some animals you put Vick's Vapor Rub on the mothers noise. She can't tell the little apart by smell anyway.

Eric

    Bookmark   March 22, 2010 at 7:41PM
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