Hen decides to be an aunt. Has this happened to you?

Discussion in 'Pictures & Stories of My Chickens' started by chickintexas, Feb 19, 2014.

  1. chickintexas

    chickintexas Songster

    Mar 19, 2010
    Spring Branch
    Three of my hens decided to go broody on me a few weeks ago. Two weeks ago, we found some duck eggs and decided to do the old egg switcharoo on them. One hen received all of the chicken eggs from two of the other hens. Those two hens each received 3 duck eggs each. The girl that got the chicken eggs had some issues with a silkie that kept trying to sit with her which caused some eggs to be kicked out and destroyed. [​IMG] So she was temporarily banned from the coop. Three eggs hatched yesterday. I went into the coop this evening to check on the birds and I find one of the girls that had been sitting on duck eggs hanging out with mama. She was behaving as if the chicks were her own! Fluffing up, calling and clucking to the babies. As well as some weird beak rubbing on the ground. She is squatting side by side with mom. Cute and funny as heck since I never heard of a hen joining in on the mothering!

  2. b.hromada

    b.hromada Flock Mistress

    How cute is that!? That's a good thing, she wants to help! [​IMG]
  3. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    How adorable! Auntie hens are great.

    I have two hens which have successfully brooded together twice. The second time, they co-raised two chicks and a duckling. (One of them STOLE a duck egg for their nest.). One hen is a standard sized hen and the other is a bantam; I suspect Sister1 allowed Monica into the nest box because she was so small they could brood quietly together. Sister1 is a large "lavender" Orpington and any other standard sized hen would not have even FIT into the same nest with her. They even took staggered daily breaks so there was ALWAYS one of them in the nest. Monica is very fierce and wouldn't let anybody but Sister1 back into it, so other pushy hen could use that nest.

    The funniest thing was the way they raised that duckling..... Two chicks who did everything "right" and one odd one who wanted to play in the waterer and grew larger incredibly fast. Their "developmentally challenged" child.


    That duck is full grown and still hangs out with the chicken flock, although she finally did learn to swim. Sister1 and Monica kept chasing her away from the kiddie pool whenever she wanted to get into it instead of just take dainty sips of water like a chicken.

    I think your "Auntie" hen just HAS to be a mommy - even if she didn't sit on those eggs. How adorable - I hope you can let her realize her desires and the hatch-mother will accept the assistance.
  4. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend Staff Member

    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
    What a cute story! [​IMG]
  5. theoldchick

    theoldchick The Chicken Whisperer Premium Member

    May 11, 2010
    What a cool story. MY FIL had game hens that would do that. I called them the broody gang as they could put a hurting on any one who messed with the chicks.

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