Amazed while watching hen take care of chicks

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by wamtazlady, Sep 19, 2016.

  1. wamtazlady

    wamtazlady Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Four and a half weeks ago one of my hens presented me with 10 chicks. I didn't even realize she was brooding. August was a very busy month and I was too busy to do more than collect eggs, feed, and water. I moved her and the chicks to my screened in porch to keep them safe. When they were a couple weeks old I propped the door open a little. A few days later the hen took the chicks out. I thought the geese would kill the little things, but no, the hen made sure her chicks learned quickly to avoid the geese. After keeping the other hens away for several days, she finally let her chicks be around the flock and all went well. Every night she has taken the chicks to the screened porch to spend the night all cuddled with her in the old fireplace.

    The chicks are 4 weeks, 2 days old now. I was outside this evening and watched in amazement. The hen led the chicks into the run, up the ramp, and into the coop. I'd never seen her take them into the run before. She must have thought they were ready to be with the big girls. When I peeked in the coop, expecting the little ones to be huddled in a corner, I saw them instead all lined up in a row on a perch.

    I have never had chicks raised by a hen before. I have enjoyed watching the process. It's gone so smoothly. Maybe she is an exceptional mother hen. Maybe I'm just lucky. She knows exactly when to do each new activity with her little ones.

    Just wanted to share my amazement with mother nature.
     
    1 person likes this.
  2. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

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    I agree - there's nothing more amazing that watching a momma with her chicks. If only we humans knew half of what a mother hen does, we'd be fortunate. Congratulations!
     
  3. Dmontgomery

    Dmontgomery Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

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    I agree also. Mother hens are incredible. Raising baby chicks in your own brooder is rewarding and fun but having a hen raise them is even more so. You get to see God's creation the way it was meant to be. One generation caring for the next. Our little OEGB is an awesome mom, but she's so tiny she can only care for 4-5 chicks at a time. More than that and she can't keep the eggs warm. Having 10 little ones follow your hen around must be a great sight. Congratulations! Post pictures of them.
     
  4. yyz0yyz0

    yyz0yyz0 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    for us the best part of a broody hatching eggs is seeing that first chick peeking out from mom's feathers, then watching them come and go from underneath her. They just kind of dive into her and they are gone from sight.
     
  5. wamtazlady

    wamtazlady Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG]
    Mama is the one in the background.
     
  6. Dmontgomery

    Dmontgomery Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

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    yep. Looks like she has them socialized well. Other hens don't seem to mind them at all. Very fun to watch.
     
  7. chelseajgoss

    chelseajgoss Out Of The Brooder

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    Is there any special measures you needed to take with letting the mom raise the babies? Like keeping them away from the other chickens or something? Ive hatched babies but never tried letting the mom raise the chicks. It seems alot easier to let her do it then setting up a brooder
     
  8. Dmontgomery

    Dmontgomery Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

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    If she is raising them in the coop/run with the rest of the flock, she will protect them from the other chickens. Personally, the only special things I do is make sure there is a feeder and waterer low enough to the ground for them to reach easily. My feeders hang several inches off the ground so the big chickens can't scratch the feed out on the ground. So I put a chick feeder near the nest, just for the babies. All the other hens steal their feed during the day so you have to refill it often. Same with a chick waterer. It can get knocked over easily by the big girls, so check it often. If you free range at all, they are a little more at risk of getting hurt, but the mama hen will still try to keep an eye on them.
     
  9. chelseajgoss

    chelseajgoss Out Of The Brooder

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    That sounds so much easier. Im just worried the rooster or a mean hen will pick on them. Im hoping for a couple weeks i can separate the run and have a makeshift spacer between them, so they can see and get used to them, but the babies cant get in and get hurt by the others
     
  10. Dmontgomery

    Dmontgomery Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

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    I have been really lucky that all my roosters have ended up being very good dads. Right now we have 3 roosters in a flock of over 45 chickens. We have had 2 seperate hatchlings this summer and the roosters have been very gentle and easy going around the chicks. They argue with each other but never peck at the babies or cause any trouble with the mom. Pretty much same thing every year.
    I have a tiny little bantam mama hen that is absolutely ferocious! She has four 2 week old chicks right now. No hens come near her babies, even my mean Guineas are afraid to get anywhere close to them. The chicks get their own special treats every morning and no other chickens come within 6-8' even though they really want to. But she lets the roosters come over one at a time to share with the little ones.
    Chicks raised in a brooder never seem to be treated as well in my flock as the ones raised by a mama in the coop.
     

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