Do hens have a motherly instinct?

happyhensquad

In the Brooder
Jul 28, 2016
6
1
11
ok so, as of right now, I have three 10 week old Easter egger roosters. this is my first go around with roos and I'm so excited to breed them with my hens! although, I was wondering if hens are good mamas? I know that people have bred them not to sit on their eggs but do they still have a motherly instinct? hypothetically, if one of my hens goes broody with fertile eggs under her, and they hatch, will she kill the chicks? and I would definitely seperate her from the flock so the they wouldn't harm the babies. :cd
 

junebuggena

Crowing
Apr 17, 2015
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Long Beach, WA
Usually, if a hen goes broody, they will be excellent mothers. However, there are exceptions to every rule, and each hen is an individual. I have one Australorp that goes broody quite often, but I can't trust her to take care of her chicks. She is so clueless. She doesn't keep them together, she doesn't keep them warm properly, and when she decides to be protective of them, she does more harm by trampling the chicks on accident.
One of my other Australorps is a fantastic mother. I have never had an Easter Egger that went broody though.
 

happyhensquad

In the Brooder
Jul 28, 2016
6
1
11
I do happen to have one australorp! I've read that they go brooty more than others. so I'm hoping that she is able be a mom someday! thank you!
 

drumstick diva

Still crazy after all these years.
Premium Feather Member
11 Years
Aug 26, 2009
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Out to pasture
Some breeds have motherly instincts even when they aren't broody. When chicks are introduced to a flock, they just seem to protect them from others . Sometimes even a rooster will protect young ones from attack or bullying.
 

TexasLisa

Crowing
9 Years
Jan 27, 2012
2,816
865
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Rosenberg, TX
I've had had three australorps go broody for me. Stretch was an awesome mom. She stayed with her chicks, protected them, and taught them well.

The 2nd one, Beauty is always going broody on me. She finally hatched on the 3rd batch. She stayed with the chicks for 3-4 weeks and then ignored them. They were on their own.

The 3rd one, Tiny, was a great mom. She only hatched one chick. They were together for quite a long time.

Each bird is different.

Good luck and have fun!
 

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