put purchased chicks under hen

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I have a buff that has been sitting on golf balls for the past 2 weeks. We were going to purchase some new chicks from the feed store and someone suggested putting them under her. Would I be successful in doing this?

-- Leslie D (bmundy@bak.rr.com), March 09, 2002


Our hens get their chick transplant at night. Using as little light as possible, eggs (or golf balls) get removed and chicks get set under mom. Only did it with mail-ordered day old chicks, however.

-- Nina (Ingardenwithcat@hotmail.com), March 09, 2002.

It will indeed work. Might be more interesting, however, to see what you get when she hatches the golf balls! GL!

-- Brad (homefixer@SacoRiver.net), March 09, 2002.

And to add.......might be a good idea to be outside early the next morning to see how she reacts to them. this way you can rescue the little guys if she turns on them.

I would also suggest having her and chicks in a separate area or cage (again, doing this moving at night). this way the chicks will be forced to stay with their new momma and other hens in your flock won't kill them.

Hope it works out for you!

-- Buk (noaddy@tiredofads.com), March 09, 2002.

I always do this. I've had hens cluck to the chicks in the box even before I get them under the hen. (Once, I didn't wait until it was dark enough and a hen started attacking them until I tried again later.) I usually lock the hen and chicks in a large nest with food and water readily available for the first few days. The chicks can live off the yolk sac for three days and sometimes the hen continues to sit a couple of days extra. If the chicks are a little older, they end up sitting under her and starve where if they already know how to eat and drink, they take care of themselves until she is ready (dip their beak in the water the first time)to take them out.

-- Dee (gdgtur@goes.com), March 09, 2002.

Definitely at night. Definitely in a separate area. And make sure the box is situated so the chicks can get in and out by themselves. (Seems obvious, but I've seen people put hens in a nest to set, with the nest two feet off the ground.)

-- Laura Jensen (lrjensen@nwlink.com), March 10, 2002.

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