How long do mother hens stay with chicks?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by czwally, Jun 30, 2011.

  1. czwally

    czwally New Egg

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    Jul 4, 2010
    I had one of my RR's go broody so I put eggs from all hens under her. She hatched 5 out of 8 and all are doing fine. They hatched May 20 - 22. My question is how long will the hen stay with her brood? I have them in a fenced off section of the pen to keep other hens from hurting the chicks.
     
  2. SallyF

    SallyF Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 5, 2009
    Middle Tennessee
    Mine were hatched May 1, and Chickie-mama is still herding them around and defending them from the other chickens. Last week I started letting them all stay in the big coop/run at night so that the two flocks can blend while Chickie-mama is still controlling things. They all free-range during the day. The chicks are almost as big as she is now, and they've started wandering farther from her, but still within cluck range, so she may kick them to the curb any time now.
     
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    It varies, not just with age but with degrees of weaning. I've had them wean their chicks at just over 4 weeks and some that take care of theirs until 9 weeks. I've had them totally ignore their chicks upon weaning, and I've had them sleep separately at night but hang together during the day for an additional week or a bit more.

    I let mine raise the chicks with the flock so Mama will handle integration. Those that were under 5 weeks had no problems running with the flock after Mama weaned them. They did stay off by themselves during the day but the other chickens did not harm them.

    Good luck!
     

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