I had a mamma hen hatch out 5 chicks. One was lost to a water bowl which left 4 chicks. I've been dealing with a hungry hawk and after he got 4 of my hens he got the mamma to these 4 chicks. I found her dead body and 4 peeping chicks so I caught them and brought them into a temporary brooder. I have another hen brooding and when I went to check to see about putting these chicks under her I found her chicks were hatching and she already had 2. My question is do you think if I put the 2 week old chicks under her at dark she will take them?
I've read about people doing just this. Stick them under her at night and she may very well adopt them. If she doesn't, it may be necessary to give them their own space along with some high protein chick starter or broiler feed so the adult chickens don't bully or kill them since momma isn't there to protect them
"Study books and observe nature; if they do not agree, throw away the books." ~ William A. Albrecht
It's worth a try. I have done it (see my post a few days ago in : Hatching abandoned eggs without an incubator). It all depends on the mama and like James suggested, if it does not work, give the chicks their own space. Good luck!
Love is the only resource that grows the more you use it.
I had a racoon kill a momma hen in the night. I thought the week old chick was taken too, but found it the next day under a broody who hatched her first chick that night. She hatched 3 more over the next week and had adopted the orphan no problem.
As others have said, it really depends on the hen.
I'm sorry I didn't see your post sooner. I've had a fair amount of experience with this. I believe at two weeks it's a bit too late to try this. When the chicks are born, the key on their mother and imprint on her. They also know the sound of her voice when they hatch. If the chicks are a day or two old and you slip them under the hen when her first chick hatches, it sometimes works. But at this late date, the hen would probably notice the difference and the chicks will probably not recognize her as their mother. Sorry, but your best bet is to raise them on their own till they get big enough to make it with the flock.
I thought I would post this as just an FYI. I recently had two hens go broody at the same time (roughly), one was a buff Orpington, the other a buff Orp/Wyandotte cross. The pure buff hatched a lone chick out, and a day and a half later the cross hatched four chicks. For about a week they followed their individual moms around and responded to their own mother's feeding clucks and followed their mothers wherever she went. Normal behavior.
I then went out of town for a week. Upon returning, I found that all five chicks were following the buff/wyandotte cross and that the pure buff was not calling for her chick or looking for it like hens do when they've lost a chick. In fact, at first I thought maybe the pure buff had died, but no, I found her. And she's acting like she didn't even have a chick. This has been a first for me. I've only seen that behavior when hen loses all of her chicks.
I understand that it's not quite on the same subject as the original post, but I thought it was interesting. I've had chicks from different broods that hatch at the same time switch from one hen to another the first day or so after hatching, but I've never seen a chick and hen just go separate ways after a week to ten days. Also, I find it strange that the pure buff stop calling for the chick. It's like they both mutually agreed that the chick would go with the other hen! Now, the lone chick does look exactly like the other four, so I can understand the cross accepting it, "looks the same, acts the same, it must be mine". And, I've seen chicks adopt other mothers if their mother died and hey were the same age, but not while she was still living. I guess life finds a way.