After brooding - X-post


9 Years
May 3, 2011
Eastern Massachusetts
Didn't see this thread - I think this question belongs here instead of in egglaying behaviors.

I have a hen sitting on 11 eggs (fertile, but not hers). They are supposed to hatch Sunday or Monday. My question is - what happens afterward?

1. How long does mom care intensively for her babies?

2. Does mom defend her babies from the other adult hens?

3. When can babies be on their own?

4. When does mom go back to regular laying (no roosters on site)?



Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Feb 5, 2009
South Georgia
1. Usually 4 or 5 weeks, but it varies a lot.
2. Mine have, so far -- if their instincts are good the will.
3. Whenever mama quits mothering them, if she raises the chicks in with the flock. I have some 2 week olds still with mama and some 8 (I think) week olds that just live with the flock since mama decided they weren't hers any more. Ive watches maybe 6 broodies raise chicks in the flock this way. No problems yet.
4. Mine have started laying again about a week after they start running off their chicks -- well, one probably not for two weeks or so.

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