Fostering Chicks?

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PSFAngoras

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So as my old hens are getting ready to go in the stew pot, I'm trying to find replacements. I do have a younger hen that was hatched last fall by a clutch I got from my mom's flock (I have no rooster), and she MAY stay if her temperament improves, but she evil.

I did have on of my old hens set another clutch this spring, to which 5 hatched. One was killed by the evil hen, and the rest and mother hen were moved to the rabbit grow out pen. But, I desperately need that pen for the rabbits! I was considering getting a few chicks from on of CL ads listed (I have my eye on a few speckled sussex, a breed I've heard does very well here) and seeing if I can't foster them under the hen with the week old chicks. I'm hoping by doing this, I can put the evil hen and the other older hen in the freezer, and keep the mother, her brood, and have three more that are guaranteed pullets if I don't get any out of the ones that are just now a week old. It would leave me without eggs for a while, but I can just buy from my mom.

Has anyone ever done this? Does anyone think it could work? I just don't have the space or time to brood chicks right now, so I'm not sure if it's even worth trying in case she doesn't accept the new chicks.

Thoughts?

Thanks in advance!
 

akane

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Most of the time it works to slip them in at night. Chickens can't count. Try to make sure they are the same maturity with the same activity level and feathering. Otherwise the hen might leave them behind or leave hers behind to follow the oldest or strongest ones. The weak have no place in a chicken flock.
 
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