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Chicks with 2 Moms - How's that going to work out...???

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Granolamom, Aug 31, 2011.

  1. Granolamom

    Granolamom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So my White Leghorn (who I was told won't go broody) went broody at 5 months of age, and we let her sit on 4 eggs. About a week ago, her sister decided to go broody, as well, and ended up sitting on the same 4 eggs (they sit side by side, take turns getting up and eating, and defend the nest together). Last night, 3 of the eggs hatched, and the babies are alive and well. My question is, whether I should separate the "surrogate mom", and perhaps give her some eggs of her own to sit on, or if I should wait and see how it all pans out, and let the 2 sisters raise the kids together. Who will the chicks follow, if they go off in separate directions? Is there any reason you can think of, why I should not let them "do their thing", weird as it may be ?
     
  2. Chickenaddict

    Chickenaddict Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have tried this twice, first time was 2 hens I had purchased together so they were inseperable, both went broody at the same time. When the first chick hatched they ripped it apart fighting over it and the baby died. I took one hen out of the scenario and let the other raise the babies. Second time I had 2 silkie hens go broody at the same time, I gave each of them a handful of eggs to sit on and they shared the sitting responsibilities.... If one wanted to get up and stretch, eat/drink the other would cover all eggs til she got back to the nest. Me being worried on how this would play out and fearing the same thing would happen as it did the first time I kept a close eye on them while they were hatching. Those 2 hens together made an awesome team! They did great! the chicks saw both hens as mama and followed both of them around. The 2 of them raised 14 chicks together. I would give it a shot but keep a close eye on them, if they seem to be doing well raising them together then let them, if they begin to fight over who is gonna have the babies then eliminate one of the hens. Good luck and have fun [​IMG]


    ETA: I had a bantam white leghorn hen who was the most excellent mother ever so I am sure your girls will do just fine [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2011
  3. Sjisty

    Sjisty Scribe of Brahmalot

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    I would let them share mommy duties. I have had three hens share three chicks with no problems.

    [​IMG]
     
  4. kitmarlowescot2

    kitmarlowescot2 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have heard that with most hens when it comes to hatching time they will fight over the chicks. But their are the rare times when sister hens will share the duties and raise the chicks all together. I think it has to them being closely related, raised together, and the temperment of the breed. The sister hens I have heard of doing this successfully were silkies and Buff Orphingtons, in both cases they were genetic sisters and were raised together and were quite close to each other. Here on youtube is the two Buff Orphington sisters who succesfully raised 23 buff orphington and BR babies together.
    Here is the link to the two videos





    (This video shows the hens taking turns watching out for trouble with the chicks.)
     
  5. Granolamom

    Granolamom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Update: Chicks are 24 hrs old now, and the White Leghorn sisters are indeed sharing baby rearing duties. We still have one egg left in there (might be a late bloomer, or perhaps it just won't hatch), and one will sit on it, while the other takes the young ones to the feeder/waterer. Then they switch. How amazing is this!! So far, so good...:)
     
  6. ichoudhury

    ichoudhury Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Would you please upload some video of them in youtube and share the link [​IMG] .. I'd love to see them. This is amazing.
     
  7. Granolamom

    Granolamom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Would you please upload some video of them in youtube and share the link [​IMG] .. I'd love to see them. This is amazing.

    Will do, later on today. They truly are amazing!
     
  8. Granolamom

    Granolamom Chillin' With My Peeps

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