hen suddenly left her chicks

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by janjan1, Apr 28, 2008.

  1. janjan1

    janjan1 Songster

    Feb 26, 2008
    Armuchee, GA
    One of my hens hatched two chicks. So far she has been a very good mother, except tonight. She left her two chicks and flew up into the rafters of the barn with the other grown chickens. The chicks are only about a month old. I found them all alone and scared when I was making final bed checks for horses tonight. The hen didn't even cackle when I scooped the two frightened chicks into my arms. They were cherping to beat the band. I placed them into a empty cage I use as a halfway house with water & feed for tonight to keep them safe from nighttime preditors, just in case. All my chickens are free rangers who roost in the rafters of the barn, scratch around the stalls of the horses and roam the pastures, paddocks and barn area. The chicks have some feathers but are not by any means ready to be on their own. Any ideas as to her reason she left them?

  2. 12 Acres

    12 Acres Songster

    Mar 23, 2008
    Oak Harbor, OH
    It sounds to me like the hen thinks her chicks are ready to spend the night alone.
  3. Freebie

    Freebie Songster

    Feb 4, 2007
    Bloomingdale, MI
    She probably figured they would find a way up. Last year I hada couple of hens hatch out some chicks about the same time. It was quite interesting. But the Black Australorp would stay down in the nest with all the chicks, and the other hens would go up and roost. The chicks that belonged to the other hens eventually learned to go up with their mamas, but Sydney would keep them all safe all night long.

    She is a wonderfull mama, but has not gone broody yet this spring.
  4. McGoo

    McGoo Songster

    Geeze, will they be warm enough - just the two of them? [​IMG]I've got 2 week olds and use a heat lamp.
  5. girlsnboys

    girlsnboys In the Brooder

    Mar 30, 2007
    Whidbey Island, WA
    Same situation here. hen has 2 chicks about 1mo old. She went on the roost a few nights ago and I worried about the chicks going nuts on the floor. Since she has known what to do all along with them, I waited to see what would happen. She watched them for a bit and then started "talking" to them. They soon flew up and made a rucus on the roost. Mama hen started cooing softly to them until they settled down by her legs. Next night when I went to close up, 1 chick was by her leg and the other one on mama hens back. She just cooed to them until they settled. Tonight, they were all quiet when I went to lock up. Don't worry, she has it under control. She has to teach them where they should sleep at night.
  6. aberfitch

    aberfitch Songster

    Mar 24, 2008
    Texas Fort Worth
    Bad mothers. I would not let her/them hatch any more eggs.
  7. ozark hen

    ozark hen Living My Dream

    Apr 4, 2007
    Mansfield, MO
    Quote:Excellent chicken lesson here. Let the hens do their job teaching them. [​IMG]
  8. jimnjay

    jimnjay Songster

    Jan 11, 2007
    Bryant Alabama
    Actually 4 week is around the time most hens will try to be free of the chicks. Many moms will hang with them longer but it is not unusual for them to start breaking away at that age. My girls will try to get the babies to climb the ladder and roost with her at that age. In the case where mama flies up to roost the babies are really at a disadvantage. The cage and a light is about all you can do for a few more weeks until they can figure out how to get up with the rest of them. I had my Faverolle hatch some babies and she was done at 5 weeks. My Silkie Rooster who did not roost up high took over brooding the 4 babies during the night for three more weeks.
    Here is a photo of him [​IMG]

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