Only one of our 8 eggs ended up hatching. I gave it until Monday morning, a full 5 more days, until I knew I had to make a change of plans! The kids and I went to the feed store and I purchased 3 of the youngest chicks I could find and brought them home. It was still pretty early in the day and Buttercup, as usual, was still trying to hatch her clutch. I reached under and took all her eggs and then one by one took each baby chick and placed it under her. I was so nervous. I wasn't sure what she would do with these new chicks.
I stayed for about 30 minutes just observing her. The first time she saw each chick she would squwak and peck at it! The chick would run back under her to hide. I went inside for about 2 hours and then came to check on her again. Now we accepting of two of the chicks, but every time she saw the golden sexlink she would still peck at it. I wasn't sure if I was going to have to take that chick out, but I decided to give it a bit more time. By the end of the day Buttercup seemed much more at ease.
Today is Friday and she has had the chicks for 5 days now. All of the chicks are accepted and so cute. You can see Buttercup teaching them how scratch for food. She is up and moving around much more now. I feel like this way of "breaking her broody" was so much more fun than suspending her in a cage! It's really been such a learning process, but very rewarding. I never knew how much I enjoyed raising animals! I think I will let her raise them to about 6 weeks and then let my friend begin her own coop with the young ones. :)
Mottled Houdan and Golden Sexlink
Buttercup teaching her chicks how to scratch.
White Sultan and the chick Buttercup hatched. It's a mixed breed.