Chicks raised by mom (broody hen) are stronger than incubated ones: they seem healthier, learn faster, behave better and adapt better to the outside world. The first 5-6 weeks after hatching chicks from the incubator spend time without supervision of an adult chicken. But the hen-raised chickens are taken care of from the first day of their life.
This is why sometimes Edward-the-farmer tries to “convince” a broody-hen to adopt incubated chicks. But you need to know how to do it. Mother-hen knows her chicks, and rejects others: she can attack them and even kill them. So how to “convince” her to adopt others, and not of her chicks?
First of all, the time ⏲️ of hatching of eggs on which the hen sits, and the eggs in the incubator must be the same. When Edward-the-farmer notices a hen ready to sit on the eggs, and this is the right time of year for incubation, he begins a new incubation.
The world is not perfect. Sometimes chicks in an incubator hatch first. In this case, Edward-the-farmer will place the chicks from the incubator in a cage with a heating element. He will wait until the eggs under the hen start to hatch. One day later Edward-the-farmer will move incubated chicks to the hen. But sometimes chicks under the hen hatch first. In this case, broody hen will accept other chicks during only two days.
In both cases, chicks are introduced to a hen at night ☪️ when the hen does not see them. And she takes them all! We are lucky that the chickens do not know the math: a broody hen can not compare the number of eggs on which she sat, with the number of small fluffy chicks surrounding her now!
On the photo you can see a black banty hen Julia. She was a perfect mom . She had a record for eggs’ hatching, and took an amazing care of her own chicks as well as the adopted ones. Her chicks were always very clean, well fed, healthy and good behaving. Julia was killed by a mink-predator with all her last hatched chicks at the autumn of 2017. R.I.P. Julia!