How long do your broodies take care of chicks?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by flocksalot, Nov 29, 2011.

  1. flocksalot

    flocksalot Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 25, 2011
    Poynette WI
    Last year Ezzy left her chicks on her own when they were about 10 weeks old. This year I had to remove her when they were 13 weeks as I needed the broody coop. Drucilla went broody for her first time this year and did a terrible job hatching. Her first batch were all bad or she cracked the eggs and ate them. Her second batch she hatched out 5, but killed three. She is so very proud of those two though. They are now 16 weeks and she still mothers them terribly. I picked up Dip the little boy and she came flying at me in a rage. She is so very protective of them. I had been planning on integrating them into one of the older groups as they are getting way to big to have momma around. I may have to cage her for a bit just to break them up. My other two broodies had been co parenting and everything was going very well. On Saturday Sandy decided she was done and ran off, and then yesterday Lucy Lu decided she was done. The chicks are just 5 weeks old. They seem to be doing fine by themselves and the roosters will look after them here and there. I'm just wondering how long everyone elses Broodies play momma before they run off. I have quit the range in time. I'm almost tempted to see how Drucilla acts around the babies and see if she will take care of them. Although she does lay some beautiful pink eggs that I wouldn't mind getting again.
  2. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 11, 2011
    I've had broodies that have turned their chicks out at 4 weeks exactly, and I've had broodies that kept them for much longer. One hen I used to have would keep her babies until they were nearly full grown. It was always funny to close the chickens in at night and see her "babies" trying to snuggle under her wings on the roost, especially since those babies were bigger than she was!
  3. kristip

    kristip Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 29, 2010
    New Glarus
    Oh I was just asking about this over on the broody thread. My first broody and she hatche one out of 3 from first hatch group and she has 4 more under here due Friday of this week. But I cant fit 5/6 chickens for 12 weeks in my basement broody spot... just wondering the average time and if either baby or momma will stop flipping out when seperated? Right now we take baby out for 5 minutes to love it and both momma and baby flip.

    Oh and I love your username Howfunkyisyourchicken an just want to add... how lose is your caboose ( you must have been a cheerleader in a prior life!)
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2011
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    I had a broody this past summer that started laying about 2 weeks after she hatched and weaned her chicks at about 2-1/2 weeks. Those chicks did not know what to do while she was on the nest laying. When I first saw the chicks running around lost, I thought a fox or hawk had gotten the mother. No, she was on the nest laying.

    I've had broodies stay with their chicks for about 9 weeks, again in the heat of the summer. I've had broodies that would not sleep with their chicks at night after 4 weeks but would hang with them during the day until seven weeks.

    I just have not seen any consistency with how long a broody stays with her chicks.
  5. sheila3935

    sheila3935 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 10, 2010
    Stonington, illinois
    my first broody was a BA she called it quits at 4 weeks. My second broodies were sisters, D'anvers, that killed 2 of their babies so I took the remaining 3 away. My 3rd was my BA that went broody again. She kept them with her for 2 months and my 4 was Sylvia my silver penciled bantam cochin. She is still with the 2 she has left that I didnt rehome and they are almost 3 months old. They were LF eggs and she will go out during the day away from them but want to be with them at night. I have a buff bantam cochin on 4 eggs right now. This is her first time so we will see what kind of mom she will be.
  6. flocksalot

    flocksalot Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 25, 2011
    Poynette WI
    Thanks everyone! So now I know my chickens are as weird as they can be and that is normal in their world. Still gotta figure how I'm gonna get Drucilla away from those not so baby babies of hers.
  7. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    Nope, your chickens are no more strange than any of ours.

    My very first broody hatched out a solo chick, my first GrandChick! She raised Samantha up for about five weeks, but continued to snuggle with her on the roost... Or maybe that was Samantha snuggling with Buffy. Samantha wasn't even from an egg laid by Buffy - Rebecca was her real mom. Buffy - BO, Rebecca - EE, Daddy Carl - EE.

    The next broody hen stayed with chicks for just over three weeks, during the day, but roosted with them at night. The next was five weeks. The next two hens gave up during their "confinement" and the eggs didn't hatch. The next two hens lost their chicks to misadventure before they were a week old, the mama hens were disconsolate and called out for their lost babies and looked for them for three days. Another broody hatched one chick, it drowned in a kiddie pool when it was just under three weeks old.

    Buffy went broody again, and she's still shepherding her three chicks at six weeks of age.

    Angel, a bantam EE, hatched NINE chicks on Thanksgiving day; it's her first brood and she hid her nest so I didn't even know eggs were a'cookin.
  8. Hinotori

    Hinotori Silver Feathers Premium Member

    Apr 27, 2011
    Graham, WA
    One of my silkie girls kicked the kids out at 5 and a half weeks. The other one is at 6 weeks now and has mostly left them. She still checks on them during the day occasionally and warms them up. She calls all the chicks over if she finds a big bunch of food. They are expected to feed themselves mostly and to sleep alone now. So I have a ball of 8 chicks from both the moms in one of the nest boxes at night.
  9. macdoogle2

    macdoogle2 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 3, 2011
    San Diego
    I've got one that is almost 23 and one that is 21 years old that is, and can't seem to get them to leave the nest either. As far as my broody hen, her chicks are 11 weeks and follow her everywhere. She gets upset if they stray too far.
  10. lauriej57

    lauriej57 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 17, 2010
    Southwest Michigan
    I have a bantam cochin that has raised 2 sets of chicks now. One this summer, and one last summer. I believe she hatched out six the first summer, and they stayed with her until this past spring. I learned from that batch. I tried integrating with the others at about 12 weeks, mind you, she's a banty, and they were standard size, bigger than her and still finding a way to get under her wherever they could. She fought with all of the others. I waited a week and tried integrating her back by herself, she fought with the others again, she just wanted to be with her chicks, and they all ended up staying in my smaller coop for the winter, where my old girls normally stay for the winter.

    With her hatch this summer, she raised 3 chicks that I had ordered, and was a good mama, once again, but at 8 weeks old, I moved the chicks into the other side of the smaller coop, with a couple of 10 week olds that I had to raise myself. She had absolute fits, and one of her chicks, who's name became Baby, would sit next to the plywood divider and cry for her mama, and Mama would sit on the other side, and call to her chicks. It was a long week, since Baby wasn't eating well, and neither was mama, the other chicks were doing fine, so I finally caved in and pulled out the divider and told mama she best be nice to everyone, and she was, though her and baby cuddled together everynight, and baby stuck really close to her the rest of the time.

    This year however, my whole flock was able to integrate together. Full access to both coops, with the door open between the runs. Mama and the 5 chicks, who are all now laying, get along well, but they all sleep in the smaller coop, and the rest of the flock still go back to their large coop at night.

    Right now, it's in the low 30's, the mama is doing a slow moult, and...trying to sit on eggs. I swear she lives to have chicks.

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