Co-parenting

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Kalin1225, Jul 25, 2016.

  1. Kalin1225

    Kalin1225 New Egg

    1
    0
    7
    Apr 4, 2012
    I have 2 hens that have been taking turns and sharing 13 eggs. They love on each other and when one gets up the other pulls all the eggs under her. So far they have successfully hatched one baby chick. Anyone else experienced this?[​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2016
  2. BirdieBirdie

    BirdieBirdie Out Of The Brooder

    84
    5
    46
    May 31, 2016
    Bay Area, CA
    I had two that went broody at the same time. They had respective nests... but shared parenting the baby chicks after they hatched. Your baby is adorable! Congrats!
     
  3. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    17,955
    2,624
    466
    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    I have done it many times. Hens that do it are often the same social grouping either as sisters or mother daughter. This appears to involve hens imprinting on each other in much the same way they imprint on chicks and chicks imprint on siblings and mother. The problem that can arise is where mothers either get into physical altercation with other or where they have different ideas about what brood it to do. Hens in such arrangements are fluffed up more than single parent hens indicating to me more stress. When you take into account the number of chicks hatched and reared to weaning (about 5 weeks), on a per hen basis the single hen arrangement will yield more chicks with fewer injuries.


    As a result I normally suggest removing one hen from the brooding effort. If two hens to still be used in a free-range setting, then invest more effort in having waters and feeding sites with creep feeders scattered about where hens will be foraging. What you will note is hens co-parenting will differ on when to alternate between feeding / drinking and brooding which can be particular problematic during the first few days. Once chicks are pushing two weeks problems will be largely worked out unless hens differ on when to roost up. When hens separate but where chicks can hear both like might caused by a fence or wall, the chicks can become distressed.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by