How long will broodies "mourn" their chicks when seperated?

imriu1969

In the Brooder
10 Years
Mar 31, 2009
33
0
32
SE Ohio
I had 6 hens go broody.
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This was my first experience so I let them all brood......at different intervals. So....they all hatched at different times. I have two areas where I can keep the broodies with their chicks for a while. I had the first set that hatched in the small coop. When the second set came I moved the first set to the bigger area with the hen and let the new hen and babies have the smaller coop.
Now.....the third has hatched so I tried the 2 broodies in with all of their chicks in the big coop BUT they pecked on the others chicks and I was afraid they would kill them so I took the hens out and left all of the chicks together in the big coop. They are doing just fine, but the broodies are having a FIT!! They are staying outside and clucking all day long. I feel sooooooo bad for them but they each had almost 2 full weeks with their babies and the babies are doing fine!! They have been seperated for 2 full days now, and not a sign of them giving up!!!
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They must be REALLY determined broodies!
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How long do you think it will take for them to realize that the chicks are fine and go back to their "normal" hen behavior?
 

Chickenmaven

Songster
10 Years
Feb 6, 2009
2,064
15
181
Michigan
I had a Wyandotte who was with her babies for three days & we had to seperate (like you) due to containment/space issues. She only moped around for a day or so. Our silkie was with her babies for a week. It took her a bit longer. One thing we have done, which I highly recommend, is to put the Mama out in a chicken tractor, so she cannot hear her babies & they can't respond to her calls. We also use the tractor with our army of un-used broodies. It keeps them moving and eating.
 

speckledhen

Intentional Solitude
Premium Feather Member
14 Years
Feb 3, 2007
79,247
13,895
1,236
Blue Ridge Mtns. of North Georgia
One of mine was a basketcase for weeks on end. She looked and looked for those babies, who were sold at a week old. It broke my heart and I decided I wouldn't take all the babies from any broody right away. They usually dump them at about a month old anyway and it's easier on them then, if you can do that.
 

imriu1969

In the Brooder
10 Years
Mar 31, 2009
33
0
32
SE Ohio
My chickens free range so it would be difficult for me to keep the broodies away from the pen with the babies in it. I don't have anywhere else to move the chicks. Do you think it would help if I put something along the chicken wire so they couldn't SEE the chicks? They would obviously still be able to HEAR them.

If not, then they will just have to mope until they get over it. No more letting that many brood at one time again!!
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Live and learn!!
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