Hen raising young ?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Crystalchic, Apr 27, 2009.

  1. Crystalchic

    Crystalchic Gone for a bit

    May 6, 2008
    After the eggs hatch that were under the hen, how long can the mother be with them? For now they are all in their own coop shared with a shy silkie rooster and his wife. I blocked off the coop exit that leads into the caged in run for now. Can the mother raise her chicks until they grow up
  2. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    She sure can. In fact I recently read two articles in Backyard Poultry magazine written by two long term poultry keepers. They both stated their strong belief that chicks raised by the hen are stronger and have more "chicken smarts" then chicks raised by humans.
    Here's another interesting article on the subject:

  3. Crystalchic

    Crystalchic Gone for a bit

    May 6, 2008
    Thank You, I read the article, I guess that I should start to invest more time in reading. Like yelk, I hate reading, but for the best interest of my flock I shall read. UUUUGGGG
  4. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    The time a hen will stay with her chicks seems to vary with the individual. Some will tend their chicks for 9-10 weeks, others are anxious to go back to their flock after 4-5 weeks. But I think that hen-hatched chicks benefit more than brooder chicks, however long their Mama hen stays with them.
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    I agree. She will care for them until she is ready for them to be on their own.

    You have another decision to make. Do you let mama raise them with the rest of the flock or do you keep them isolated from the flock? If you let mama raise them with the rest of the flock, you don't get the integration issues you could otherwise have. However, mama needs room to do her job. If she can keep her babies from being underfoot, what will normally happen is that another chicken will peck a baby, mama will immediately severely reprimand that chicken, the lesson will be learned, and things stay peaceful. If space is tight enough that mama cannot keep her babies out of harms way, however, bad things are more likely to happen.

    Good luck!
  6. Crystalchic

    Crystalchic Gone for a bit

    May 6, 2008
    I can keep momma hen with her chicks until they grow to be the same size as the other chickens. She is sharing a pen with a silkie pair. It is a large enough pen for all of them to roam around together.

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