|The Chicken Really Bad Hair Day|
That experience pretty much set a high standard for us. You may wonder why I went with feed store chicks as apposed to ordering from a hatchery I love. The reason was simple. We lived in town at the time and McMurry only does orders of 15 at the lowest and I only needed 10 max for our small yard.
|mama hen being broody|
Two of our very old hens chose to go broody this fall just as I was contemplating their trip to the freezer. I let them set eggs from other hens and thought about ordering day old chicks from McMurray and seeing if one of the hens would take them if the delivery was at hatching time. In the end I ordered their egg laying assortment because that was the only chicks available close to hatching time. These are an assortment of the best of the best of their egg layers.
So here is how people recommend you get a broody hen to take other chicks.
The chicks must be just hatched or very close to only a few days old. Not only does this make the hen more likely to take them, but the chicks if too old won't bond as easily with the hen and stay close to her protective body.
If you are ordering chicks for this purpose it is best to get a delivery date as close to your hen's eggs hatching date as possible. This is entirely doable with McMurray as they have the ability to ship chicks all the time from spring through fall.
|our tophat setting her eggs|
Check on the mom and chicks as frequently as possible without upsetting the hen too much for the first few days. You need to watch for rejected chicks. They will be often hiding in a corner so the hen won't peck them. If she rejects some or all of the chicks you will have to take them out and rear them yourself.
|mama with a mail order chick|
|Pure white mail order chick|