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Chickens are widely known as one of the most friendly and accomodating domestic animals. It is natural for hens to lay eggs, sit on them and hatch them at the appropriate time. Most of them go broody in the spring when the weather is warm. But what about other eggs, will a chicken sit on duck eggs?
A chicken will definitely sit on duck eggs. Primarily, when a hen is brooding, she sits on anything and everything that are put under her. She has an instinctive need to sit on something and she will try to remain on the eggs for as long as possible.
Let’s take a deeper look into broodiness and if a chick will even go as far as to adopt a baby duck.
Will A Chicken Sit On Duck’s Eggs
Among other poultry, chickens are the most reliable when brooding is concerned. Sometimes, a duck might decide to lay eggs and not sit on them. But you can be assured that when a chicken lays eggs, she sits on them for the necessary period. As if this is not enough, a chicken will also sit on a duck’s eggs or any other random eggs or pseudo eggs, such as balls.
Although there’s a limit to the number of eggs your hen can sit on, consider this when you’re trying to include a duck’s eggs under your hen. The size of your chicken determines the number of eggs she can sit on.
Another amazing thing about chickens is that, once she’s brooding, she can sit on just the duck’s eggs without having a single egg belonging to her. She even neglects herself in the process. The only time a hen leaves the eggs under her is when she has to eat, drink, or pee.
Can A Chicken Hatch Duck’s Eggs
A chicken can absolutely hatch a duck’s eggs. Chickens are being used to hatch duck’s eggs most times, and they do a fantastic job. If you find yourself in a situation that makes you put your duck’s eggs under your broody hen, you can be rest assured that they will be fine under the chicken. The chicken will sit on them until the eggs are hatched, except they are not fertile. Let’s just say chickens are such a great incubator.
As a matter of fact, it’s better when a chicken naturally hatches your duck’s eggs than when you use an incubator. This is because the humidity varies within an incubator, but it’s more regular under a chicken.
Although the chicken takes 21 days to hatch its eggs, while a duck takes 28 days to hatch its eggs, when the broody hen is made to hatch a duck’s eggs, most at times, It will sacrifice another 7 days to ensure that all of the duck’s eggs are hatched as well.
Related Article: how long does it take a chicken to grow – From egg to adult.
There are more than one method to hatch duck’s eggs, but incubating them under the chicken is the simplest method.
After 28 days, the chicken will raise both her eggs and the ducks’ without discriminating. Perhaps, it is so because she called them to life and naturally ensured they were well protected. A fun fact about this is that even the duck that laid the eggs will not attempt claiming her ducklings from the hen because she also believes the hen is their mother.
Will A Broody Hen Adopt Ducklings
Although this might be quite difficult, the answer is Yes! A broody hen will gladly adopt ducklings like her own. Chickens are always quick to raise and adopt anything they hatch.
However, the frustrations start manifesting when the ducklings cannot understand the chicken’s language. Because of their different natures, the chicks and ducklings behave differently in their feeding and communication. Even before they were hatched, the chicks understand their mother’s language, but it’s a new experience for the ducklings.
Allowing a mother hen to raise ducklings can be challenging but achievable and beneficial if done correctly.
You can start with starter crumbs for both the chicks and ducklings for their feeding.
It would help if you gave them clean and frequently changed water to drink. Since the drinking pattern of chicks and ducklings differs, their waterer should also be different. Use a deeper waterer for the ducklings, while a shallow one will suffice for the chicks.
Although ducklings love to swim, it is not advisable to provide a swim for them since chicks are quite gullible and might follow them.
Chickens are quite amazing when raising whatever they hatch; they protect and ensure they are well fed. However, due to the difference in nature between the chicks and ducklings, it’s advisable to monitor their affairs.
If possible, allow the duck to raise her ducklings to save yourself from the stress, but in difficult situations, remember your broody chicken can also raise ducklings.