Hi, I am new here and new to owning chickens. I currently have a hen with 2 chicks about 3-4 weeks old. I was wondering when I should expect mum to be laying eggs again. Thanks in advance.
Hen with 2 chicks
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Hens seem to vary drastically in the amount of time they stay mom to their chicks. Right now I have one hen that has abandoned her chick at three weeks and another hen took care of her family for three months this summer; both of these birds are extreme. Most care for their family about 6-8 weeks. Your hen will not start to lay again until she has weaned the chicks and is no longer caring for them. As an aside; all of my hens stay very protective of the youngsters even after they start laying again and will attack when the chicks chirp loudly out of fear. This weekend one broody hens rushed off her clutch of eggs to protect another hen's chicks when one of my parrots got out of her cage and made the mistake of landing on the floor. I am quite sure the parrot would have been killed if I had not been there. The attack was so vicious the parrot could not even fly to safety. At the moment I have seven hens-four with chicks. All seven and the rooster mobbed the parrot-hardly fair-eight against one. When the fussing was done the broody went back to her nest.