Brooder hen calling for flock?

porokelle

In the Brooder
Dec 5, 2021
2
4
11
Hi all,

New to chickens here.

About a week ago we got 4 orpington chicks (4-6 weeks old now) with a Bantam as the brooder hen from a reputable breeder, and brought them home. They've been doing fine but brooder mum started making sounds about a day ago we've identified as her calling for her flock. She's been pacing a bit since we got her. I suspect it has to do with the farm over the ridge from us had chickens making very loud sounds for two days. They stopped today but there's still a rooster crowing. Now she's making flock calling sounds non-stop and we're not sure what to do to make her happy. I doubt it helps that we've had a few days of downpours and are expecting two weeks more :(

Previously she was kept with... a lot... of chickens (at least 100) and possibly before being used as a brooder hen was on a lifestyle block free range. She's eating, enjoy treats, and already ok with pats. The chicks are doing well. But the sounds are distressing for us new chicken parents.

Thanks in advance for any advice.
 

Mrs. K

Free Ranging
12 Years
Nov 12, 2009
9,723
14,002
656
western South Dakota
It is very typical for a broody hen, to forget her chicks, forget she is the mom. Somewhere between 3 and 7 weeks. The chicks really don't need her anymore. They are big enough to make it on their own. I have 2 chicks that will be 7 weeks old on Thursday, and today is the first time, their momma did not call them to come and eat when I put out food. They are no longer the doted on babies, but must fend for themselves.

To be honest, this is the longest I have ever had a mamma 'keep' her chicks. So yes, I think that your broody hen, is done being broody. Ready to just be a chicken again, and will start laying eggs.

Do not worry about her companionship, she will be fine with the chicks, and they will soon grow up.

Can you post pictures of your set up? Sometimes people need help with the coop/run set up and the number of birds. The pacing part, rathe bothers me.
Mrs K
 

porokelle

In the Brooder
Dec 5, 2021
2
4
11
Thanks for the relies. I will try to get a picture of their current coop/setup up tonight.

We're nearly certain the pacing and constant calling is her way of telling us she's going to try to lay an egg for the next 3 hours. There's been an egg a day since my initial post.
We've constructed 3 nesting boxes- 2 outside the coop, 1 inside. She's still shy of the new coop, so the makeshift cardboard box with curtains just outside seems to suit for now.

Some of the other pacing seems to be if she sees me at the windows she thinks there's treats coming her way.

She's not fully ignoring the chicks yet - tries to peck when I have to put them into the coop for the night and still offering them some of the food. But definitely not mothering like she was last week.

I'm still wary that she's calling for three hours before laying eggs, but it might just be her way?
 

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