Co Parenting Hens

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Lilyrush, Mar 24, 2017.

  1. Lilyrush

    Lilyrush Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 27, 2012
    Western Washington
    [​IMG]
    Question for ya'll...do hens usually do this? My black silkie, Poppy, was broody January into February so I got her three chicks to adopt. She has been an amazing little mama. Well my white silkie, Cleo, was broody February into March but I couldn't get more chicks so I just waited it out. I kept Poppy and her babies separated from the others until about two weeks ago and then I let them out of their brooder cage that was in the coop. Anyway Cleo finally left the nesting boxes and I was like "yay she got over her broodyness!" At night I started finding Poppy, babies, and Cleo all sleeping in the same box. Now this little family is inseparable and Cleo is just as protective and mothers the chicks just as much as Poppy. Is this normal? Poppy will shoo away any of my other chickens but never Cleo. Cleo even makes the same motherly cluck sounds as Poppy. Anyway I'm just curious because the chicks were a good 4 weeks old by the time Cleo came in contact with them. It's very sweet, just kinda funny that she would co adopt month old chicks right? And Poppy would let her?
     
  2. IdyllwildAcres

    IdyllwildAcres Chillin' With My Peeps

    I think its awesome and normal enough! Like I tell my kids, not all families are the same but a family is a family:)

    But I am guessing its out of the norm for chickens, but its stinking adorable[​IMG]

    Gary
     
  3. chickens really

    chickens really Overrun With Chickens

    I have a Broody that raised two Chicks they are 9 weeks old..I also have another with 7, 5 week olds and both Hens care for the Chicks...Also my one Hen who has never been Broody loves all the Chicks..;).....I have 10 Hens and one Rooster...They are great with the Chicks....:)


    Happy to here your birds are happy...:)


    Cheers!
     
  4. birds4kids

    birds4kids Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 15, 2015
    Last year our silkies went broody together and I gave them some eggs, they incubated together and mothered together. The group brooding as I understand it can be hard on eggs but 4/6 hatched and all the chicks grew up happy.
     
  5. mysterychick

    mysterychick Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 12, 2014
    Well, I am no expert, but when my 2 silkies were a mere 5 weeks of age we added another brand new baby Easter Egger bantam, chick to the brooder and kept just the two silkies in the brooder with the new Easter Egger chick (we put the other breed 5 week chicks out into the coop) and shockingly, the two silkies both took the newbie under their wings, literally. They sat on the new baby and she hid under them, and they shared this job and seemed to genuinely be "mothering" the new chick. So I think Silkies are just super-moms and are made for this and they are so sweet they can indeed share the job.
     
  6. Lilyrush

    Lilyrush Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 27, 2012
    Western Washington
    That's pretty stinkin cute! And I think you're right, Silkies are super moms!
     

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