Hen with chicks laying???

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by shelleyd2008, Sep 16, 2008.

  1. shelleyd2008

    shelleyd2008 the bird is the word

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    Sep 14, 2008
    Adair Co., KY
    I have a game hen that I just bought a few weeks ago. She had 6 chicks with her, but wouldn't take 3 of them once I let her out at home. I ended up taking the others away cuz she would roost really high up and let them fend for themselves. She hung around the cage for days, so much so that I had mercy on her, and gave the 3 back to her. She has started laying in the last few days, and her chicks aren't even feathered out all the way!! Is this normal? Is it because I took the babies away for so long?
     
  2. Omran

    Omran Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 26, 2008
    Bagdad KY
    I know for sure that man has to leave the chicks with thier mama untill they have full fether and even so my friend has 5 broody mama hens and he leaves each of them seperate in a big gage with her chicks till they get about 3 weeks old,I don't know what the correct solution for your case,but I am sure that someone with more experiance than me will tell you,if you want I go tomorrow to my friend he lives next door and ask him for you,I am so glad I raise my hens and gain the experiance from him because he is being raising all kind of animals for almost all his life.
    good luck.
    Omran
     
  3. jessupfamily

    jessupfamily Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 14, 2007
    SW Indiana
    How old are the chicks? Smaller mamas tend to kick them away a little sooner. (Mine around 4-5 weeks.) Some aren't fully feathered. And she started laying a little sooner as well.
     
  4. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Possible since it seems she has given up her baby rearing days by roosting again. If it is really cold, and chicks cant follow momma up to the top, might have to take them in for a bit.
     
  5. shelleyd2008

    shelleyd2008 the bird is the word

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    Sep 14, 2008
    Adair Co., KY
    Well that's just it. Today I spotted her squeezed in with one of my brooding hens, and her chicks were in with her!! She hasn't left the chicks yet, she just lays her egg, and goes on her way. I am not sure how old they are. I bought her and the chicks about 2 weeks ago. The chicks have most of their feathers, but they have a lot of fuzz on them still. I would say they are probably 4 weeks? they had pretty good feathering when I got them, but don't seem to have feathered much since.
     
  6. shelleyd2008

    shelleyd2008 the bird is the word

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    Sep 14, 2008
    Adair Co., KY
    Quote:That's why I origina;;y took them away. She would just abandon them at night. Now they can get up there with her, and she is still watching them. Although she does seem to forget that she has them from time to time. Would it be better to just take them away after all?
     
  7. jessupfamily

    jessupfamily Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 14, 2007
    SW Indiana
    I wouldn't take them away. It sounds like she is doing what mamas do when they are teaching them to be big chicks. What looks like abandonment to us is just a mama chickens way of saying "ok now you have to do this all by yourself". They usually spend a couple of nights trying to figure out how to get up there with mama and then determination kicks in and they get themselves up there! During the day the mama seems to us that she has forgotten about having babies, but she is making them venture out on their own. Sometimes she may even peck at them to make them go on. It's all very normal for chickens.
    We had some determined chicks one year that would go into the nesting box with their mama while she laid her eggs. And then they were teenage sized and couldn't all fit in there with her (she was squawking the whole time at them). So they would all just sit outside the box and wait for her! It was quite funny! But two of those babies had babies the next season and were the best mamas we have ever had!!!!
    Let mama teach them, they will be better chickens for it! [​IMG]

    (EDITED FOR SIDE NOTE:) Where are you in South Central KY? We used to live down there and are moving back to Scottsville next year. We just bought 13 acres in the Halfway area.
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2008
  8. Lee

    Lee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 27, 2008
    Marion County, IN
    I have a Partridge Rock bantam that loves to go broody. She recently brooded and raised 2 Buff Orp chicks and when they were about a month old she started laying again. And slowly she started distancing herself from them. Then 2 wereks later she went broody again and so I put 4 more eggs under her. My Buff Orp rooster is a big guy so I figure her eggs are not fertile and besides I'm trying to only breed Buff Oprs.
     
  9. cluckychick

    cluckychick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 29, 2008
    South of KCMO
    I had one momma that I left chicks with for 4 weeks, she was a great and protective momma. I had one that I took away chicks after 3 days because she wanted nothing to do with them after that and she was literally hurting them whenever they tried to get near her. I would say all chickens are different and sometimes the momma instinct is there and sometimes its not.
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2008
  10. ginasmarans

    ginasmarans Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 15, 2007
    West Tn
    I had a broody start laying when her chicks were about 3 weeks old. She layed about every other day and still took good care of her babies,so I kept her with them for another week. I thought"Yipee-a bonus!" I'd say as long as she is caring for her chicks,count your blessings.
     

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