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Broody hatched 3 months ago - still with babies and not laying

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

My wyandotte hatched some chicks at the end of August and has been a spectacular mom...perhaps too spectacular. She is still not separated from them, although she gives them a good bit of freedom. They're still sleeping together, she still makes sure they eat first, etc. My concern is that her comb is very pale (wattles are normal, just the comb). She went through a light molt about a month ago and has recovered well from that, and she seems otherwise healthy - eating, drinking, and pooping normally, although perhaps eating less due to feeding the babies first? From what I've read, this seems like an abnormally long time for her to stay with her chicks and I'm wondering if the pale comb is a sign of illness or just a side effect of being a mom for so long. She has not laid since July and with our short days, I don't expect her to lay again until spring, so I'm not super concerned about that part of it. Any thoughts?

post #2 of 3
Pale combs indicate that a hen is not currently laying, it's a sign to the rooster so he only mates with those that are producing eggs, or are healthy. I have had hens mother their chicks until they are adults, and they usually maintain a bond for life, especially females. The best moms tend their chicks up to sexual maturity, so about 5-6 months, poorer moms will abandon them when they are under three months. I would call your hen a good mom.
Chickens, muscovy ducks, turkeys, donkeys , goats, dogs, fish, parakeets, a parrot, and a cat.

Chickens and dogs are healing to the soul.

I brake for squirrels.

Some of my birds.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/my-wisconsin-flock
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Chickens, muscovy ducks, turkeys, donkeys , goats, dogs, fish, parakeets, a parrot, and a cat.

Chickens and dogs are healing to the soul.

I brake for squirrels.

Some of my birds.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/my-wisconsin-flock
Reply
post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 

This is exactly what I needed to know - thank you so much! I will stop worrying and let her get on with being a mom. :)  

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BackYard Chickens › BYC Forum › Raising BackYard Chickens › Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying › Broody hatched 3 months ago - still with babies and not laying