Do Motherhens know their chicks?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Hyper_Chicken05, Jan 8, 2018.

  1. Hello everyone, i was just womdering if hens will recognize their chicks their whole lifes, will a hen always always be nicer to a chicken if it is her chick, and will they still be friendly and close for the rest of their lives?. thanks for your help and answers!.
     
  2. After the chicks are weaned the hen forgets all about her babies and regardless of what some may think they never recognise their clutch as their own flesh and blood ever again.

    Just stop and think for a moment about what a pecking, fighting, bullying mess you would have on your hands if a mother hen recognised her chicks especially if one or more of her former brood was being picked on by a non-related chicken.
     
  3. Oh ok. But does the hen atleast be more friendly towards the chick?.
     
  4. chuckachucka

    chuckachucka Crowing

    1,289
    1,780
    277
    Mar 22, 2016
    I would say that sometimes a hen will be friendlier to her offspring after weaning. In the past I had two hens who brooded chicks at the same time and even more than a year later, the hens still prefer the chicks that were theirs over the chicks that were mothered by the other hen.

    To say that they forget them completely is wrong, I think. Chickens have very complex social relationships that are not just bound by the pecking order. For example, siblings raised together will usually prefer each others company to that of other chickens. The mother hen has to reject the chicks at some point for their own good so that they can be independent and for her own good so that she can get back to egg laying etc, but that doesn't mean they forget what happened. They have very long memories. It depends on the personality of the hen somewhat as well. But in my experience a mother hen will not stay very close to her offspring in the way that sibling chickens sometimes remain very close.
     
  5. featheredplanets

    featheredplanets Songster

    481
    604
    176
    Nov 28, 2017
    My hen couldn’t stand the sight of her chicks after six weeks of raising them and attacked them if they tried to go near her...
     
  6. losttexan

    losttexan Songster

    290
    62
    131
    Jan 24, 2014
    Lubbock, TX
    In my flock, I don't see any residual maternal connection, but the clutches do seem to want to stay together and only reset those bonds after a significant time.
     
  7. Ok, Thats good that My will atleqst remeber her chicks, the thought of her raising and dedicating all that time to her chicks For 8 weeks and then forgetting them is kinda sad. She seems like she might have the personality because she is very friendly towards other chickens (Probs becauae she is small) and she isn't really that dominant.
     
  8. ChickenGirl555

    ChickenGirl555 Songster

    1,249
    1,212
    232
    Oct 22, 2017
    Wisconsin
    My Coop
    That is most likely her trying to get them to be more independent, and not her hating them.
     
  9. featheredplanets

    featheredplanets Songster

    481
    604
    176
    Nov 28, 2017
    Maybe. Didn’t say she hated them, just said she couldn’t stand them... they were polishes and she began plucking their heads...
     
  10. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years.

    104,162
    76,566
    1,637
    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    I think in breeds like silkies with strong mothering instincts, once the mama tells them to hit the road, another hen or even a roo may look after them. I've read of roosters that sat on eggs while mama silkie took a breather. Try to find a man who will do that :gig
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: