How long will a hen "mother" her brood?

Redhead Rae

Chickens, chickens everywhere!
Premium member
Jan 4, 2017
7,260
37,214
872
Braxton County, WV
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
 

FrankieDoodle

Poppy-Dog
Jul 29, 2017
3,072
45,547
1,072
California
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
View attachment 1203133
I'm not sure, but that picture is adorable! :love
 

Redhead Rae

Chickens, chickens everywhere!
Premium member
Jan 4, 2017
7,260
37,214
872
Braxton County, WV
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.
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.
 

Redhead Rae

Chickens, chickens everywhere!
Premium member
Jan 4, 2017
7,260
37,214
872
Braxton County, WV
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).
 
Top Bottom