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Hen won't give up her babies

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by daisy06, Oct 7, 2012.

  1. daisy06

    daisy06 Chirping

    Feb 26, 2012
    I have a hen who has had her chicks for 12 weeks now, but she is showing no sign of giving them up. When do hens usually give their brood up?

  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    I've had anything from 3 weeks to 9 weeks. They are living animals. There is no one magic number. 12 weeks does seem really long, but I'm not that surprised.
  3. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

    Jun 28, 2011
    Rep of Ireland
    I've had a hen wean her kids when they were 4 months old! But the average here is 7-8 weeks.
  4. daisy06

    daisy06 Chirping

    Feb 26, 2012
    Ok. They seem like they are ready and do go off, but the hen follows them.
  5. jtbrown

    jtbrown Songster

    Mar 30, 2011
    Southeastern Ohio
    My bantums hatched large fowl eggs on June 14th. I had a multi broody hatch that shared the chicks.

    The bantums moms are still hanging out with these ginormous rhode island reds, jersey giant and light brahma chicks -- going on 15-16 weeks? They still snuggle on the roost with them.

    We were lucky and 6 of the 8 that hatched were girls, so maybe this is their new "group" that the bantums will hang out with? It really looks funny to see the bantum calling these silly grown chickens over to something good, like she is the rooster or something!

    So, I think that our flock is large enough that the bantums have merely switched their allegiance away from our original girls to the new ones.
  6. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    I think my most consistent broody read a book somewhere that she's "supposed" to brood them for six weeks. It's like a calender, usually 6 weeks to the day and she's back on the roost with her sisters, pecking babies who try to scooch under her on the roost.
  7. daisy06

    daisy06 Chirping

    Feb 26, 2012
    Aww. I've had multiple hens hatch one brood before. This hen, Roady, one before hatched a brood but she drastically lost it to a predator. She was insane for a few days wandering about, purring and clucking. I don't know if that has anything to do with this, though. She is a rhode island red and those don't get broody often. She did hatch her own brood, but I introduced some chicks(americaunas and mille fluer d'lucces). She lost most of her brood to a sneaky hawk, and she was left with her three americaunas that she courts around today at 12 weeks. Maybe she's just afraid of losing them....

  8. AZ_HenHouse

    AZ_HenHouse Chirping

    Nov 2, 2011
    It could be time of year.
    My banty cochin is pretty quick to wean her babies in the spring and summer (4-5 weeks)but I have noticed that she has kept her last hatch longer (7 weeks and counting) I assume that she is not planning to hatch anymore this fall and will stay in momma mode for quite awhile. She did this last year too. Hatched out a brood in October and mothered them for 4 months. She kicked them out on their own when she was ready to start laying and brooding her first spring hatch lol
    Her goal in life is not to supply me with eggs but to be a mother[​IMG]and keep me supplied with chicks. Kids love husband does not[​IMG]
  9. daisy06

    daisy06 Chirping

    Feb 26, 2012
    I can relate big time when it comes to hens and babies. Lately, though, no one's really been up to the "sitting job". We are barely getting eggs from any of them anyway, or maybe they are being sneaky.[​IMG] It's fall, so they may be in a no laying trend. I have a few that are molting anyway. But I must say that for hen, when it comes to babies, they are crazy.[​IMG][​IMG]

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