When a mama hen abandons her chicks midway through brooding them, what can you do to save those babies and bring them up to be happy healthy adult chickens? I was faced with that dilemma last week, for the first time. Unusual for an Old English game hen, but there's a first time for everything. Papa Rooster is an Old English game, too - these will be pretty chickens!
I had heard of people using a feather duster as a 'foster mama hen', so when these four little chicks (4th is partially visible, upper left) were orphaned by their indecisive mama, I went shopping. I had settled the poor little orphans in a small brooder meant for up to ten baby chicks, and added the new feather duster when I got home from work the next day. It's similar to the color of the hen, and I'm thrilled to say they are thriving now!
They snuggle together under those soft feathers and sleep snug as little bugs in a rug.
Yesterday, it was warm and sunny, so they had a little field trip . . . long enough to get this photo, anyway.
Watching baby chicks who've imprinted on a feather duster is far more fun than using it for its intended purpose. 😊
Have you faced this issue - how did you deal with it?