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When do chicks leave mother hen?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

When do chicks leave their mother hen? Ours are about 4 weeks old(to be exact: Peanut-30 days old, Juno-29 days old, and Suzy-28 days old) They are all still following their mother hen around during the day(sometimes wondering a short distance away to explore a little) and she still protects them(last week she attacked my brothers toy plane that landed nearby her and the chicks! LOL) lol
When should they start to become independent? Will it affect them if some stay in the same coop with her when they are older?
Thanks!

post #2 of 9

In my case the hen abandoned her babies at about 4 or 5 weeks.  She stopped letting them eat first and showing them treats.  She pecked at them when they tried to nose in and eventually they got the idea. 

It was kind of sad to watch but we gave her two babies extra love and treats and they were ok.

I suppose each case is different and each hen is different.  I hope your hen (and you) handle the transition and come out of it with a happy experience.

post #3 of 9

I have a chick that is almost 4 months and he still sleeps with his mom every night. He has sat on eggs with her and everything. He is even helping her with the new babies that just hatched! He leaves her for about an hour at a time to hang out with our roosters or to go eat pincher bugs under our hay loft. I don't know when he will stop sleeping with her tho. Probably when he is too big to fit in the small roosting box with her. lol.

post #4 of 9

I had a hen that stayed with her babies until they started laying. And even after that she still treated them like hatchlings. She would pick up and drop food before them so they could eat, just like mother hens do. It just depends on the hen. Sometimes they just abandon the chicks at several weeks.

"Nankin Bantam Rooster" by Katherine Plumer
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"Nankin Bantam Rooster" by Katherine Plumer
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post #5 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Icrazyaboutu 

I have a chick that is almost 4 months and he still sleeps with his mom every night. He has sat on eggs with her and everything. He is even helping her with the new babies that just hatched! He leaves her for about an hour at a time to hang out with our roosters or to go eat pincher bugs under our hay loft. I don't know when he will stop sleeping with her tho. Probably when he is too big to fit in the small roosting box with her. lol.


That is too cute.  I only wish my hen would do that but she can be rather bossy when she is not broody.  Oh, well.

post #6 of 9

What kind of chickens are they? That is very cool that a cockeral would help out his mama!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Icrazyaboutu 

I have a chick that is almost 4 months and he still sleeps with his mom every night. He has sat on eggs with her and everything. He is even helping her with the new babies that just hatched! He leaves her for about an hour at a time to hang out with our roosters or to go eat pincher bugs under our hay loft. I don't know when he will stop sleeping with her tho. Probably when he is too big to fit in the small roosting box with her. lol.

post #7 of 9

I had a Silkie hen that I used to hatch out 6 OEG chicks. She was a good mother, but when they got fully feathered out, she'd had enough and would peck them when they tried to get under her, etc. Unfortunately I can't remember the timeline, but it was sooner than I expect and I recall that it was just as they had all their feathers.

post #8 of 9
I have a mother hen (Isa Brown - that I was told never go broody!) who managed to hatch out 1 little guy, but she is such an attentive mother. Baby is a Blymouth Rock who is now 8 weeks old and showing no signs of wanting to leave his momma. They are both in with the rest of the flock so I think she knows that she needs to keep with him as the other girls can be a bit mean and chase him round the yard! However given that he is a boy, I'm guessing he will get his own back in a few months!!lol.png
post #9 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by L1sa View Post

I have a mother hen (Isa Brown - that I was told never go broody!) who managed to hatch out 1 little guy, but she is such an attentive mother. Baby is a Blymouth Rock who is now 8 weeks old and showing no signs of wanting to leave his momma. They are both in with the rest of the flock so I think she knows that she needs to keep with him as the other girls can be a bit mean and chase him round the yard! However given that he is a boy, I'm guessing he will get his own back in a few months!!lol.png


It does seem that single chicks stay attached to mom (male or female chicks) for whatever reason.  One of mine started weaning them at 21 days (it was June/July) and the other ... the other didn't wean until 9 weeks old (Oct-Dec).  Not sure how much of it was due to the time of year- or just differences in the hens themselves.

 

Originally she had 8 chicks, but one got injured so I had to bring it and one of the others in for company.  They were still sleeping together in their nest at 5-6 weeks old, which is about how old they were in these pictures.  It was getting a little ... embarrassing.  ;)  Like, come on guys, you're fully feathered, you do NOT need to be tucked under her.  They could have stood up and carried her off!!

 

 

 

18 layers of various breeds, 2 teenager pullets and 1 teenager cockerel, and four F2 Super Blues babies, 2 pullets and 2 cockerels at 8 weeks old.

 

 

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18 layers of various breeds, 2 teenager pullets and 1 teenager cockerel, and four F2 Super Blues babies, 2 pullets and 2 cockerels at 8 weeks old.

 

 

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