Broody buff STILL mothering chick at almost eight weeks

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by caralouise1974, Sep 22, 2009.

  1. Just a quick one - my broody BO is still looking after her black australorp chick, at almost eight weeks old. She is still incredibly thin and not taking care of herself although the chick looks wonderful, fully feathered and very active.

    Is this normal? When on earth is she going to stop mooning over this chick and get on with her life? I'm getting very worried about her condition now. [​IMG]

  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    I'm not sure how to respond to this. The broodies I am familiar with take care of themselves and recover while raising the chicks. If the hen is in poor condition after 8 weeks, I'd suspect some problem other than her taking care of the chick.

    Sounds like she only raised one chick. Since the chick did not have any siblings to bond with while it was growing, it may have bonded more strongly with the mother hen than normal. I'd suspect it is more that they are hanging out together than that the hen is still mothering the chick.
  3. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    My banty Cochin mothered hers for 8 weeks, then began pushing the last one away from her the day she began laying again. My Blue Orp/Buff Brahma cross hen mothered hers for 7 weeks before I took them from her and made her go back to the flock, but she tried to get back to them for a week or so. Those are the longest times my broodies have ever kept their chicks. The shortest time was 3 weeks.
  4. Thanks for the advice everyone.

    Funny thing is, just today, after I posted, mamma seemed to come out of her trance somewhat. She suddenly started showing a real interest in the treats I offered, and came running to me at full pelt when I appeared in the garden. She also appeared to be less interested in standing guard over the chick, and more like her normal self again. Tonight for the first time in at least ten weeks, I have felt her crop and it is maybe three quarters full.

    Poor thing - she had a very hard time bringing up this chick... first a long spell of weeks of fruitless broodiness which we tried to break and failed, then once we got some eggs for her she suffered an horrific red mite attack which almost killed her on the nest, then she seemed to go ridiculously hormonal over the chick, refusing to eat and mooning around all day. It's been very tough on her indeed.

    Still, things are looking good, and it seems that she is indeed just hanging out with the chick now, rather than mothering it. She's still catching bugs and feeding it, but it doesn't hang on her coat-tails all day and she's eating pretty much normally today.

    What I do hope is that she starts to regain some weight before it gets too cold over here and winter really sets in...
  5. Uzuri

    Uzuri Songster

    Mar 25, 2009
    I think this is what they call a "helicopter mom"

    When she follows the chick off to college, and insists on sitting in on its first job interview, you can worry [​IMG]
  6. Quote:[​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    Bless her, she's definitely dedicated!!! I defy any mother to take better care of her babies than this one. The silly girl. [​IMG]
  7. 19hhbelgian

    19hhbelgian Pigs DO Fly!!

    Apr 9, 2009
    New Tripoli PA
    Glad to hear your hen seems to be doing better. My black australorp is still trying to mother "her" chicks. She didn't even raise them, but she has started to push them under her, and if they peep, she will go running. If they go outside the yard she is beside herself! Now, one of the chicks actually yells for her [​IMG] these chicks are 3 months old, and the one is half her size!! [​IMG]

  8. Quote:I wish I could see her trying to push it underneath her! How sweet [​IMG]
  9. Amethyste

    Amethyste For Love of Boo...

    My chicks are 9 weeks old now and HUGE!!!! I would say almost 3/4 size of the adults...and they are still being mothered to death by Esther lol [​IMG] But now she has Mercedes in on the act....[​IMG]

    I go out there and BOTH are making the come and get it sounds, Both of them herd the little ones in ... BOTH are guarding the little ones...this is too funny. [​IMG]

    I looked last night, still couldnt get a pic [​IMG] But I watched Esther jump on the roost and call the chicks to her. Everyone jumped on...and Mercedes jumped on last. I realized after watching them they are sharing the sleeping over the babies lol I guess Esther just cant reach anymore! [​IMG] Mercedes was covering 2 of them, 1 between them, Esther had the the other two, and there was a buff on each back of the adults. [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    SIGH POOR BIRDIES!!! lol I can just see the chicks as full grown birds [​IMG] STILL trying to do this to them. [​IMG] I was just cracking up. I am wondering if I wil have Peter Pan Chicks [​IMG] ...frantically peeping " I don't want to grow up!"

    Even tho I can hear the peeps changing to clucks <snicker>
  10. Jenski

    Jenski Songster

    Jun 17, 2008
    Middle Tennessee
    Come on now . . .


    Lets see some pics of that sweet Mama and her chick! [​IMG]

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