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Raising chicks

Posted by runningtrails 5 (My Page) on
Fri, Jul 18, 08 at 13:02

I would like to try to get one or two of my hens to go broody in Sept, when I can get baby chicks from the Co-op. Has anyone substituted the eggs, from underneath a brooding hen, for live purchased chicks with success?

I know the timing is tricky. I'll need a hen to be already sitting on eggs for maybe a few days before the chicks come in.

Can I move her entire nest to a different location at night, then, after a couple of days, go in at night, remove the eggs and put in some baby chicks? Will she know the difference or will she think these are her chicks?

Has anyone had red sex links that were broody or has that trait been bred out of them? Maybe Ill get a couple of silkies just for that purpose. Do silkies lay large brown eggs?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Raising chicks

I don't think you can make a hen go broody. That's nature's job. But, everything else you have said is on the right track.

I make sure that the hen has been broody for at least a week, before I move her nest (at night) to where I want her to raise the introduced chicks. This is usually close to her coop so that she can introduce her chicks to the flock smoothly.

Once she is happily sitting on her nest in the new location for another few days, I will introduce the chicks at night. I've only had one hen that did not accept the chicks, and that was because I rushed the above process. I tried to do it in a couple of days rather than the week minimum I do now.

Good luck.

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