If you follow us on Facebook (if you don’t, please do!) then you likely know that earlier this Spring we purchased a couple dozen meat birds (story for another time!) and at the same time we also picked up 6 Easter Egger pullets to add to our flock. I am dying to add a new color egg to our basket!
We let our pullets hang with the meat birds for their first 6 weeks then we got serious about how much the meat birds were eating (yikes!) and moved the pullets into our flock. We’re always a little nervous about moving new birds into our older flock, but luckily, our hens aren’t usually too ‘picky’ and they end up getting along ok after a few weeks.
We added the pullets to the coop in the afternoon so they could acclimate to their surroundings before nightfall. At 6 weeks they were still pretty young and small so we made sure they were all accounted for that evening and all was well. We assumed they would move into a nesting box to sleep, which they did.
However, our black Silkie, Beanie, was broody at the time and the nesting box they chose to sleep in was the one she happened to be in that night. Come morning, they were hers. She totally adopted those 6 pullets and took them out the next morning, showed them where food was and became their Momma. It was so stinking cute! We didn’t know that could happen with half-grown chicks.
That was about 4 weeks ago and she is still Mothering them like a boss. That little Silkie is something else. So, yes, a hen can adopt another hen’s chicks…even if they’re half-grown and almost as big as her.