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Hens looking after chicks

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by cluck13, Mar 2, 2014.

  1. cluck13

    cluck13 Out Of The Brooder

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    May 14, 2013
    Oberon, NSW Australia
    I have two hens sharing the raising of chicks.
    How long will they protect the chicks?
    Should I be separating them and if so at what age?

    Will the hens continue not to lay while they are looking after the chickes. When will they start laying again after hatching?

    This hatching and raising are our first and we are enjoying the experience:)
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    I’ve had a broody hen start to lay 2-1/2 weeks after she hatched her chicks and wean them at three weeks. Both of those were a huge surprise. I’ve seen hens stop taking care of their chicks during the day but still protect them on the roosts at night. I’ve seen chicks leave their chicks on their own at night but take care of them during the day. I’ve had hens go through the molt while raising her chicks and not lay for months after weaning while completing the molt. What is more normal is that the hens totally wean the chicks somewhere between 4 to 9 weeks and start to lay not too long after that. But I can’t come close to telling you what will actually happen with yours.

    Should you separate them? I never do. I want the hen to raise the chicks with the flock, teach them to be chickens, and take care of integration for me. Some people do for their own reasons. You’ll find we do all sorts of different things for all sorts of reasons. It’s not necessarily a case of one way is right while everything else is wrong, just that a lot of different things work. Which way is best for you in your unique situation may depend on are your goals? They are different for all of us.
     
  3. cluck13

    cluck13 Out Of The Brooder

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    2
    24
    May 14, 2013
    Oberon, NSW Australia
    Thank you Ridgerunner for your reply. The hens are definately looking after the chicks and intergrating them into the flock, I will let this continue and look forward to the eggs when they are ready to lay again.
     

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