Hen rejecting day old chicks (not hers)

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Hen rejecting day old chicks (not hers)

Postby eae » Sat Dec 09, 2017 6:08 pm

I got 8 lovely 1 day old Araucanas from Wolga today (thanks, Wolga!) and put them under my broody wyandotte/pekin X. She's been sitting on plastic eggs for 2.5 weeks and hatched chicks last season, so has done this before. I had thought about waiting until tonight, but for whatever reason decided not to. In hindsight, not a good move.

I went to check on her 10 min after I put the chicks under and they all seemed ok. Went back 10 min later and 6 of 8 were huddled in the far corner of the nest box, I tried putting them back under her but she pecked them severely. I picked up the most picked on, went to get a box to take the rest out, and by the time I went back about 3 min later, she'd killed one of them, sigh. I picked up the remaining 5 and they're sitting in a plastic tub in a warm spot. There are still 2 chicks under her that she seems to not be trying to kill.

Do I try again this evening when it is darker and since she already has 2, would this have a reasonable chance of success? I'd really prefer not to raise chicks inside - we have a small house and 3 cats who all love to eat small cute things. I'll do it if I *have* to, but I'd like to try all options first.

I do have another hen who has 5, 7 day old chicks. Would it be too late to introduce the younger ones to her? She's a proven lovely, gentle mother hen.
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Re: Hen rejecting day old chicks (not hers)

Postby wolga » Sat Dec 09, 2017 11:11 pm

Oh nooo !
So sorry to hear that ! Yes you should do it at night
or have the hen somewhere really dark so she can’t see them.
Try again tonight and fingers crossed she will accept them.
The other one with 7 day old chicks could work too.
Let us know how you get on !
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Re: Hen rejecting day old chicks (not hers)

Postby eae » Sun Dec 10, 2017 9:39 am

The news this morning is much better. No carnage in the nest box when I checked in them at 6:30am. Chive is all fluffed up and clucking, so cross fingers she's taken to them ok and will bring them out to eat today. The 5 in the plastic box last night had the added bonus of having a good eat of some crumbles before they went back out :)
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Re: Hen rejecting day old chicks (not hers)

Postby wolga » Sun Dec 10, 2017 9:56 am

Great news ! Yay !
Thank god you only lost one chick. Some hens can
kill their chicks real quick. Hopefully all goes well now !
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Re: Hen rejecting day old chicks (not hers)

Postby sewren » Sun Dec 10, 2017 10:31 pm

eae wrote:The news this morning is much better. No carnage in the nest box when I checked in them at 6:30am. Chive is all fluffed up and clucking, so cross fingers she's taken to them ok and will bring them out to eat today. The 5 in the plastic box last night had the added bonus of having a good eat of some crumbles before they went back out :)

Phew! That's good news. Funny how she decided two were fine but no more - I really can't fathom chooks sometimes!!
Seventeen beautiful chooks in a rainbow of breeds and Silver Appleyard ducks!
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Re: Hen rejecting day old chicks (not hers)

Postby wolga » Wed Dec 13, 2017 8:37 am

How’s the young family doing now ?
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Re: Hen rejecting day old chicks (not hers)

Postby eae » Wed Dec 13, 2017 7:57 pm

Everyone seems to have settled in fine. Chive isn't the most attentive mother, often ignores cheeping etc, but we're down on proven mothers this year after our GLW unexpectedly died a few weeks ago. She raised 8 Houdans last year and promptly left them at 5.5w (our RIR who raised a clutch at the same time stayed with hers until 9w).. but she'll do good enough, fingers crossed! The chicks are lovely wee things and had their first brief outing outside the cage today, just 10 min in the garden with Chive so she could have a big dust bath.. they appeared to be doing all the right things though - those first little scratches in loose dirt are so cute :)
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