Do chickens recognize their mothers?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by jockeyeba, Jul 25, 2011.

  1. jockeyeba

    jockeyeba Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,650
    92
    198
    Nov 27, 2010
    San Antonio area
    Can a 4 month old chicken recognize his mother when he runs into her or is that something that doesn't happen in the chicken world?[​IMG]

    Owner of 3 Bantams, 30 American Games, 5 racehorses, 1 Longhorn cross heifer, 15 Painted Desert sheep, 4 goats, several cats and 1 housedog.
     
  2. janinepeters

    janinepeters Chillin' With My Peeps

    906
    55
    153
    Jun 9, 2009
    He will recognize whatever hen raised him, as his mom. However, by 4 months, she will more than likely have thrust him out of her care, forcing him to forage for himself. He may occasionally still seek food or comfort from her, but she will want none of that, and will not hesitate to let him know.
     
  3. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    17,494
    2,151
    456
    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    As chicks my games stay with their clucking mother untill the down on their heads begins to be replaced by feathers. Thereafter they will still forage with her even though she may begin laying another set of eggs and begin brooding them. Looking back at records, my hens consistently stop clucking when chicks are approaching 6 weeks post-hatch. Normally interactions between hen and chicks go for another 6 weeks or so. Based on that chicks recognize mother until at least 12 weeks (3 months) post hatch. Cockerols when doing the breed anything with feathers seem to leave mother alone until at least 20 weeks when father gives them the boot from the flock. Daughters get booted too. Social structure of my free ranging American games may be as complex as that of wild red jungle fowl.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by