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Hen has adopted seven-week old chicks

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

These three chicks are half grown, and never in a million years would I have thought one of the hens might decide they needed adopting at such a late date.

 

I first noticed this "relationship" a few nights ago in the coop when I was doing "bed check" and saw that the three chicks were roosting every night as close as they could get to Su-su, my five-year old GLW hen. They were practically underneath her.

 

Then yesterday, I noticed she was spending most of the day with the chicks, and when a hen from the other run in back came into her run, she began making all sorts of threatening noises, even bellowed out a short crow! I grabbed up the intruder before there was a fight, and after that, I gave Su-su access to the chick pen so she could spend time with the chicks without having to defend them.

 

 

 

 

These chicks are a long way from being babies, and it amazes me they've all bonded like they have. Today, Su-su spent hours with the chicks teaching them how to liberate seeds from the scratch block remnant I had given to the chicks. Until now, they had mostly ignored it.

 

Su-su has always been a persistent broody, and she is, in fact, going broody over this relationship. She's ramping up her "broody cluck" at any rate. Either the chicks are making her broody, or she's going broody and is in the "mood" to adopt chicks. However, I find the latter unlikely since she's molting, as you can see in the photos, and it's a bit late in the season for broodies.

 

I really do not know what to make of this. But I find it immensely endearing!

post #2 of 5

I agree!  It's incredible what surprises these silly little chickens will throw at us at any given time.  Love the pictures...they sure tell the story!

post #3 of 5

Interesting!

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Reply

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Reply
post #4 of 5
too cute!!
post #5 of 5

One of my hens adopted 2 half grown ducks. She would scratch for food and call them over to eat. It was cute until the male duck was old enough to breed........then it got weird.

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