A 5 week old chick acting like a mom?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by OrpingtonFairy, May 9, 2017.

  1. OrpingtonFairy

    OrpingtonFairy Out Of The Brooder

    26
    4
    49
    Aug 24, 2015
    Hamden, CT
    I have a 5 week old speckled Sussex and a 5 day old blue Cochin. The Cochin goes under her for warmth and the Sussex doesn't mind. The Sussex also seems to protect her and feels the need to sit on her, one time. Can a 5 week old already have that maternal instinct?
     
  2. debid

    debid Overrun With Chickens

    5,658
    910
    316
    Jan 20, 2011
    middle TN
    IMO, this behavior is just chicks being chicks. They cuddle for warmth and security regardless of gender and ducking under is instinctive. It's really funny when the one ducking under is bigger than the chick it's trying to go underneath!
     
  3. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

    9,960
    2,949
    421
    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    As debid points out, new baby chicks have this driving instinct to crawl underneath other chickens, and when it happens to be under an older chick, it's simply the older chick's laid-back attitude that prevents a negative outcome. It doesn't necessarily indicate a "maternal instinct" which requires broody hormones to be activated.

    This instinct for babies to be attracted to the underside of most any chicken body they encounter is why I advocate the segregation of chicks under two weeks of age. It takes that long for baby chicks to become discerning and not get into trouble ducking under any old "port in the storm".
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by