Does anyone recall how long a mother hen broods her chicks?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Chicken Keith, Sep 13, 2013.

  1. Chicken Keith

    Chicken Keith Chillin' With My Peeps

    In other words, at what age are they weaned? I'm sure there are no hard/fast answers as the age may vary. Curious to what you've seen with your chickies?

    When my mother hen brooded 7 chicks last spring, I think the babies were around 5-6weeks when, like Fleetwood Mac, she said, "Go your own way" [​IMG]
     
  2. gamebirdsonly

    gamebirdsonly Overrun With Chickens

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    I have seen any where from 5 to 6 weeks and aslong as 3 months.
     
  3. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    I've had some try to ditch them as young as three weeks, most seem to go around 6-8 weeks, it does seem like single or only two chicks stick with mom longer.
     
  4. Chicken Keith

    Chicken Keith Chillin' With My Peeps

    Here's the motive for my question: I have a mama hen (Gallus domesticus) a Cuckoo Marans girl raising just one India Blue baby peacock. The peachick is 5 weeks old on Monday. Mama is still very attached to her "ugly" "duckling" baby.

    I didn't want to post this over at the Peafowl forum because of the title of this thread. I figured they'd delete the thread.
    [​IMG]
     
  5. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    That is an interesting combination. I have no idea how the chick being a peachick would affect what they do. With the singletons, I never really noticed that the mother would actively try to get away or avoid the chick, it is more that they just gradually lose interest in each other. I still have two older EE mother/single daughter combos over a year old and they still hang around together, the mother doesn't protect the now adult chick or anything, but they keep to the same clique. Remember reading on BYC where people had hens still trying to brood chicks that were bigger than they were, silkies seemed to be really dedicated.
     
  6. Araucana16

    Araucana16 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That was all I saw and I nearly had a heart attack [​IMG]My name is Mac, and I was so scared... [​IMG]

    Back to your question, some hens just give them the boot the second they can feed and whatnot for themselves and don't need warmth, others are so pitifully attached. I've seen photos of a hen attempting to grab her 5 6 month old chicks and stuff them under herself. The chicks were not compliant [​IMG]
     
  7. Araucana16

    Araucana16 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I did not see the peafowl part... I would say that it wouldn't affect it too much. The chick is plenty old enough to leave now, it looks like. So I would assume it's baby's choice and mom is going to have to live with it.

    Sorry if there's typos my BYC is glitching and I can't read what I'm typing [​IMG]
     
  8. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    The hen doesn't care what the baby is, it's still her chick. The lady I got my bantam cochins from used them to brood peafowl and turkeys all the time.

    It really depends on the hen. My best broody must have read a book that said to brood for six weeks, because I swear you could set a calendar by her! Now I've got two hens co-mothering where one lost interest around then, the other one doesn't try to brood them anymore but she calls them for treats, and fluffs out when I approach them. Those chicks are 3 months old.
     
  9. Chicken Keith

    Chicken Keith Chillin' With My Peeps


    Donrae, I think you're right. It just strikes me funny that mom is wired by instinct and not intelligence like us humans. I guess that's God's plan to keep animals alive for the short time they're on this earth. I just read your signature line. I have no idea what it would be like to have cancer. What are your days like? I don't know what to say as I'm awkward around this subject matter. Pls forgive my clumsiness. I'm sorry you have to go through this. My prayers are for your full recovery.
     
  10. Chicken Keith

    Chicken Keith Chillin' With My Peeps

    Ha ha, no offense intended. [​IMG]

    Don't worry. I get the gist of what you're saying. Thanks!
     

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