Adoptive Mother?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by apmorris, Jul 3, 2010.

  1. apmorris

    apmorris In the Brooder

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    Feb 22, 2009
    Grand Ledge
    We have two five-week-old chicks that were hatched by a 1-year-old RIR. When the chicks were about 4 weeks old, the RIR lost interest in them and is back to moving with the rest of the flock. The chicks started following a 3-year-old Ohio Buckeye hen who has never been broody and is generally a crabby hen. After a few days, the Buckeye has begun clucking to the chicks, makes sure they are with her at all times and roosts with them at night. We have never seen this before. Has anyone ever had another hen "adopt" chicks?
     
  2. SkyWarrior

    SkyWarrior Songster

    Apr 2, 2010
    Wilds of Montana
    Yes. I've actually had older EE chicks adopt younger chicks. While it was still cold, the 5 week old EEs would gather the week old chicks beneath their wings and have them beneath them under the brooder. They cared for those chicks as if they had sat on the eggs. themselves. They took care of those chicks for at least 5 weeks.

    I now have 5 younger chicks in the coop with the other birds. These chicks are in a crate, but the other birds act very positive towards the little ones. I suspect when I let them out they will all get along. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2010
  3. apmorris

    apmorris In the Brooder

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    Feb 22, 2009
    Grand Ledge
    Wow. Good to know. Thanks~
     
  4. BlackBart

    BlackBart Songster

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    Mar 29, 2009
    Yes
    I had a Buff Orpington abandon her chicks. One day she just took off back to the main coop.
    My big old Silver Grey Dorking Hen with sleepy eyes will adopt anything. She is a very good mother.
     
  5. SkyWarrior

    SkyWarrior Songster

    Apr 2, 2010
    Wilds of Montana
    My experience has been that lots of female animals (dogs, cats, chickens) tend to have nurturing tendencies. Sure, there are those that don't, but more often than not, I've found they're suckers for baby animals.
     
  6. Quote:Many years ago we found 2 kittens under our house after their mother had been hit by a car. I took the kittens inside and put in a box...next thing I knew our female cat that had been spayed several years previous was in that box letting those kittens nurse...she had milk to come down and she finished raising the kittens. Our Siamese showed no interest in the kittens but our sweet Abigail turned out to be a wonderful mother. I was so happy that she got to be a "Mama" at least once in her life. [​IMG].
     
  7. goldnchocolate

    goldnchocolate Songster

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    May 9, 2008
    Massachusetts
    I have a black australorp hen that was broody for a couple of months but her fake eggs never hatched [​IMG]. When my incubator-hatched chicks (there were around 25 of them) were around a month old I moved them from the brooder into a separate section within the main coop. When that BA heard those chicks cheeping she immediately began to camp out right next to them and they gathered near where she was laying. It was so cute. After a few days I finally opened it up and let her in with them and she was so content to be there. Now that those chicks are out with the rest of the flock she will still call to them and cluck to show them treats, etc. Aren't chickens wonderful!?!?
     

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