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Dave C

What a reliable broody !

Well 3 weeks ago I put 4 table birds under a broody who had only been on eggs for 1 week, as I had a very poor hatch it seemed better than having them under lights.

The 9 eggs I took from under her I put in the inky
3 were clear then 2 didn't hatch
The 4 remainder chicks were going under another broody who wasn't quite as keen, I checked 2 hours later and she had killed 2
So the last 2 had nowhere to go!!

So as the all this was all going on in the dark while it was chucking it down, the other hen in the ark next to it (with the 4 table bird chicks) was clucking away like mad, so I snuck the 2 little ones under her even though there is 2 weeks age difference.

Next day


Quite a size difference but she don't care  

Anyone else had broodys adopting much younger chicks successfully ?
bodger

Never tried it Dave.
Rena

I once had a broody that had her chicks, took another set of chicks from a hen that deserted her hatch, and yet a third set ending up with 24 chicks (new hatch, 3 wks and 4 wk olds). She was a BIG Sweet Buff Orpington. Sadly, a dog attack at 1 a.m. took her and most of the lot. There were several underneath her as it looks like she did her best to protect them all. It was pretty sad, yet I remember her fondly. That sweet bird was truly worth her weight in gold. She died in my arms that night and I've not had such a devoted broodie since.

Hang on to your girl, she's in the same class as my Goldie was and worth more than gold too.
Dave C

Yes she's doing a grand job  
Woodburner

Bless!
I think I've gotten away with a week's difference before, but I don't remember the details.  
I've had good luck with broodies this year. We needed two (just) - probably could have given them all to one but I was wary of giving nearly two dozen <7do chick to one hen, especially as I have had hens attack 'their own' chicks before too. Had accustomed one to being close to the house, and gave her half the chicks to her. The other one went off broody when we tried to bring her to the house too though, so in desperation tried moving the last broody, that had only just settled a day or two before, and she was fine (we waited a couple of days to be sure before giving her the chcks). Sighs of relief all round!  

Did the introductions late afternoon for a change, as I didn't fancy a sleepless night worrying if the hen would decide she didn't like wriggly fluffballs once she could see them.  
Rena

I recently learned that chicken have very keen color vision. The only chick I lost to a hen was one that had a different color pattern on its body than her own chicks. The broody mentioned above didn't seem to care about color... She just loved babies
Dave C

Yes she is still going well

The problem will be when it's time for the older chicks to start on grower feed
Rena

Dave C wrote:
Yes she is still going well

The problem will be when it's time for the older chicks to start on grower feed


Why? ...  
Dave C

I normally change them over to growers at about 5 weeks

The younger chicks won't even be 3 weeks at that time.
So I might seperate them leaving the younger ones with the broody for another few weeks or leave them together offering both Grower and chick crumb
Rena

Ah, gotcha. The grower feed, is it just for older chicks (more nutrition than the chick crumb) or for birds heading for the table? Here they feed chick crumb then when the chicks are old enough, just switch to regular feed. The meat birds get feed grower until they are butchered.

I don't feed any pre-made feeds, only my own mix of grains, so am not too familiar with pre-made crumbs, pellets, grower and the like.

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