How long do hens stay with their babies? Will they mate?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Higins00, Apr 28, 2010.

  1. Higins00

    Higins00 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 19, 2008
    Ct
    Hi
    I have a mama hen with two babies. She just about pokes my eyes out everytime I get near the chicks. Just wondering how long the chicks stay with the mother. Plus if she has a little roo and I keep him , will he know that it's his mother and not mate with her or will I have to separate them? Thanks
     
  2. MareeZoCool

    MareeZoCool Chillin' With My Peeps

    [​IMG] Hi, I'm watching a new motheer hen for the first time too, it will be great to see one of these wise forum members let us both know. I'm guessing mom will be hyper protective for the first few weeks. Once the peeps grow stronger, I assume mom will let them do some fending for themselves. ~ even momma hens gotta let go some day![​IMG]
     
  3. Andi

    Andi Chillin' With My Peeps

    Momma will gradually loose interest in being over protective.

    Yes, eventually the little roo would mate with Momma. Chickens don't have the moral ethics that we have. Well, I wonder if a human mother and son where caged together for the course of their lives with no other interactions with other humans if the thought wouldn't cross their minds. We won't go there. Any way, chickens don't understand the genetic ramifications of interbreeding.
     
  4. jossanne

    jossanne Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 11, 2008
    Gila, New Mexico
    Actually, chicks are mated to parents all the time (on purpose). It's called line breeding. Sounds icky to humans, doesn't it!

    My mama hens stay with their chicks til the babies are a month old or so. Then the chicks start wandering out on their own, and mama kind of gets back to life as normal. It's another month or so after that before she'll start laying again.
     
  5. MareeZoCool

    MareeZoCool Chillin' With My Peeps

    [​IMG] Thank you josanne! you have answered 2 questions that have been keeping me sleepless.[​IMG]
     
  6. ALLcoopedUP

    ALLcoopedUP Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 19, 2009
    I was wondering about this too......I'm pretty sure that my silkie rooster and 2 hens that I got last year were related, possibly brother and sisters.
    Now they have 2 chicks a little roo & a little hen (I'm almost sure it's one of each!) and I will be putting them all in together at some point. (The broody hen & chicks have the coop all to themselves. The rooster and the other hen are being kept in a different pen within hearing distance of the 'cock-a-doodle-doos' but not in sight. The silkies don't seem to mind being put in different places for a while, unlike my Polish Crested who hated being moved!)
    When do you think I should put them all in together? Should I introduce them gradually to the chicks by having a small pen inside the run maybe?[​IMG]
    It does seem a bit incesty that dad could then have chicks with his offspring at some point in the future but if you say it is not an issue in the chicken world then I guess it's best not to dwell on it.[​IMG]

    Oh yes, how do you think 3 hens, 1 rooster and one young roo will all get on together?[​IMG]
    I really can't imagine giving away or swapping one of my first little 'babies'!!!!![​IMG]
     
  7. catlover8976

    catlover8976 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 9, 2009
    UK
    Oh yes, they'll mate all the time. Even with their sisters and brothers. I've had every combo available from son + mum and father + daughter to brother + sister. This has caused many problems for the chicks that they make though, I've had 2 chicks from one clutch with deformed feet. [​IMG] So make sure when you hatch eggs you pick ones that are less likely to be inbreed.
     
  8. jossanne

    jossanne Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 11, 2008
    Gila, New Mexico
    If there is a tendency to have problems or deformities, like the above poster, they will be increased by inbreeding because related birds will be likely to have a lot of the same genes, so the problems will come out more frequently. So you'd want to bring in non-related birds occasionally.

    ALLcoopedUP, you'll just have to watch and see how the two roos do with two hens. It might be more breeding than the hens' feathers can take, and it might be that the two roos will fight. Or it might all be okay. I'd be prepared to at least separate the roosters if need be. As far as introducing older birds and younger birds, that's how I do it. A small wire pen inside my coop for a while to get used to each other, and then supervised together time at first. Works for me!
     
  9. ALLcoopedUP

    ALLcoopedUP Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 19, 2009
    I don't know if you're still following this thread but all my hens and roosters seem to get along just fine. They have an established pecking order with the big Polish Crested Rooster protecting his 4 white silkie girls from the 3 white silkie roosters and they all look up to him so there is no fighting. I guess I'm lucky as the ratio of hens to roos is not good - it's just they way they came out of the egg! [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2011
  10. srgtroost23

    srgtroost23 Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 17, 2012
    when they are fully feathered they can be without mom but prefer to be with mom and im pretty sure they do mate with eachother
     

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