How long will a hen "mother" her brood?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Redhead Rae, Dec 5, 2017.

  1. Redhead Rae

    Redhead Rae Turning into a Crazy Chicken Lady and loving it! Premium Member

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    I have a BO that hatched 10 chicks for me 10.5 weeks ago. I thought they weaned their chicks around 7 weeks, but she is still a very loving, attentive mother to them. She still sleeps with them, protects them from older birds, finds food for them, etc.

    This pic was taken when they were 7 weeks, but is emblematic of how well she cares for them. If you look closely you can see all 10 babies
    Mama warming 7w babies.jpg
     
  2. FrankieDoodle

    FrankieDoodle Overrun With Chickens

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    I'm not sure, but that picture is adorable! :love
     
  3. sylviethecochin

    sylviethecochin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Depends on the hen. Seven to eight weeks is normal, and I had one hen abandon hers at four weeks, and of course, silkies will sit with the chicks as long as the chicks will sit with them. It's extremely varaiable.

    To quote someone's signature (and I don't remember whose) "Chickens don't read the books."

    Good hen. You must be so proud.
     
  4. Redhead Rae

    Redhead Rae Turning into a Crazy Chicken Lady and loving it! Premium Member

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    I'm saving it for the 2019 calendar contest.
     
  5. 21hens-incharge

    21hens-incharge True BYC Addict

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    My Bitty cared for her first brood for about a year. She was back to laying long before she was done calling them for food and mothering.

    Her second brood she was done with by 9 weeks.

    It all depends on hormones. :barnie
     
  6. Redhead Rae

    Redhead Rae Turning into a Crazy Chicken Lady and loving it! Premium Member

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    I am. I'm glad I took a chance on her. She only hatched 1/30 of this year and was only 6-7 months when she went broody. I definitely want to hatch some of her eggs. I want as many broodies as possible. Incubators and brooders are such a pain to deal with.
     
  7. Redhead Rae

    Redhead Rae Turning into a Crazy Chicken Lady and loving it! Premium Member

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    I'm kinda wondering if she is one of those hens that would take any baby you give her. I have a batch of BSL eggs (New Hamp over Dom/Dom crosses) in the incubator now. These chicks are BSL (Black Cochin over Dom/Dom crosses), not at all related to the Buff Mama. So I wonder if she would take them in since will look like her previous babies (minus the feathered leg).
     
  8. 21hens-incharge

    21hens-incharge True BYC Addict

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    If a hen is not actively broody they won't adopt.
    Bitty was murderous to new chicks unless she was broody. When broody I could give her anything near egg shaped and she would stuff it under ( gave her a rock lol). I gave her chicks after 3 weeks of being broody and she was the happiest thing ever.
     
  9. Redhead Rae

    Redhead Rae Turning into a Crazy Chicken Lady and loving it! Premium Member

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    I'm sure she is laying again. For the first 5-6 weeks, her comb and wattles were pink, after that they got red again.
     
  10. Smuvers Farm

    Smuvers Farm Melvin Up the Taterhole Premium Member

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    Xena is still doing all the Mama stuff with her Nuggets, and they are almost 7 weeks old. We DID give the Nuggets a mouses our Mouser, Ocean, caught today. Xena, Holy and Fat Ba$tard all fought over it... PIC was watching supposed to be watching, to see who ended up with it. No bueno.
     

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