These top ten tips for chickens and chicks adoption process will help a broody hen accept those baby chicks more successfully. But we most remember that most hens, even experienced mothers, will have no interest in raising chicks unless they are already broody.
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Your broody hens are expecting their own eggs to hatch any day, and you’ve purchased a few baby chicks for them. Here are ten tips to make the adoption process seem as natural as possible.
1. Create a private space. It’s best to give each broody hen a sense of privacy with her own nest box.
2. Make sure your hens are broody.
Only give chicks to nesting hens. If a hen isn’t prepared to raise her own brood, it’s unlikely she’ll adopt a chick.
3. Prep the chicks.
Once you receive your chicks, set them in the brooder with some water and food until it’s time to adopt them out to the broody hens. Make sure you clean off any feces and dirt from the baby chicks before placing them with the new mama.
4. Be prepared to brood them anyway.
In spite of a careful preparation, it’s possible that your hens simply won’t take to the new chicks. If this happens, you’ll need to have a brooder already prepared.
5. Give them some chow.
Be sure you’ve provided starter chick feed and water in chick-accessible dispensers. Everything should be all set up before adding the chicks.
6. Sneak them in.
You will want to wait until everyone is roosting and asleep before tucking the baby chicks in with their new adoptive mothers.
7. Sit back and watch.
If all goes well, the chick should stay snuggled underneath its new mother, and the hen should seen undisturbed by the newcomer. If the hen seems unhappy, remove the chick and place it back in the brooder.
8. Check in.
Keep checking in throughout the day to make sure everything’s going smoothly. If the broody hen becomes aggressive or neglectful, remove the chick.
9. Add more.
Once it’s clear mother and chick are getting along, wait until night and switch out her eggs with the remaining chicks.
10. Check Again.
Double check the following day to make sure everyone is adjusting well.
Enjoy your new flock!
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