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Adding 2 week old chicks under a new momma broody hen  RSS feed

 
Teretta Owen
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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?
 
James Freyr
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Location: Middle Tennessee
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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
 
Olga Booker
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Location: Pyrenees Mountains, South of France
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Hi Teretta,

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!
 
Renay Newlai
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I would try.

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.
 
Marcus Billings
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Location: South Central Indiana
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Hi Teretta,

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.

 
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