Brooding Time

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by GingersHuman, Dec 8, 2016.

  1. GingersHuman

    GingersHuman Chillin' With My Peeps

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    How long do your hens brood their chicks before letting them go? My bantam Little brooded her first hatching this spring and "kept" them for 10 1/2 weeks! Her fall hatching just turned 11 weeks old today and no sign of her giving them up yet!

    They're LF also, so now at night on the roost, she cuddles under them! [​IMG]
     
  2. SIMZ

    SIMZ Chillin' With My Peeps

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    How cute! It varies according to the hen. I had one hen start turning them lose around 4 weeks, but most are somewhere around 8-10. I also had a hen that mothered her "babies" for almost 4 months. Her babies were about as big as her and still trying to shove under her wings at night on the roost. They were an October hatch and I wonder if she took care of them for so long because it was going into winter.
     
  3. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    I had one hen, I swear she had a calendar in the coop. 6 weeks, almost to the day, that was it. Then she was simply done. One of my best broody hens, would be ready to brood another clutch about a month later.

    Most of my hens are around 5-7 weeks, in that area.

    I have noticed the clutches in the fall tend to get brooded longer. I think it's the time of year, the hens don't have that seasonal trigger to wean the current clutch and start laying again to fit another clutch in during the season.

    I have chicks from late summer/early fall hatches that are recently weaned (by me) or still roosting with momma. Momma's not actively parenting, but she does sleep with them and allows them to eat with her.
     
  4. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    My games stay with chicks usually about 5 weeks although like with donrae the hens can stay with broods twice as long late in the season. Larger broods also seem to get prolonged care. Regardless of actual duration, the type of care change qualitative at around five weeks. American Dominiques seem to stay with their chicks only about 3 weeks.
     
  5. LNGSMITH

    LNGSMITH Just Hatched

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    Would anyone know if it is normal for broody chickens to sleep while sitting on eggs ?? Normally when my buff orpington has been broody before I haven't seen her sleeping but I noticed today she was asleep everytime I went to check on my flock (4 times max) I'm sure I am over reacting, but I would rather be safe than sorry, considering it is a behavior I haven't seen from her the last time she was broody.
     
  6. Beekissed

    Beekissed True BYC Addict

    Very normal...they gotta sleep sometime, so they do sleep while brooding.
     
  7. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    I have spent a lot of time watching that. During the day they will often doze of for short periods but require minimal disturbance to be woken up. At night sleep pattern very similar to non-brooding birds except broody hens are easier to wake up. When they are in deep sleep they tuck head back under wing like everyone else.
     
  8. GingersHuman

    GingersHuman Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I know this is a bad pic, but it was dark, and the flash kept disturbing everyone into moving around. Here's Jester, Duke, Little (the mama) and Princess. All you can see is Little's tail sticking out as she cuddles underneath her giant chicks, haha!

    [​IMG]
     
  9. SIMZ

    SIMZ Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That's adorable!
     
  10. oldhen2345

    oldhen2345 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My Alberta goes into a trance like state. She simply doesn't appear to be in there for long intervals. Although I have food and water outside the "brooder", she doesn't leave her nest for days on end. I finally put food and water within reach of her while she was on the nest. She poops in there too (and I mean giant poops) and it needs cleaned out daily.[​IMG] Dot the Speckled Sussex is her best friend and came to check on her. She even laid an egg in there and Alberta shoved it under her wings. I knew this because Alberta was brooding some cream color bantam eggs and Dot lays big brown ones. LOL
     

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