How long will hen raise chicks?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by macdoogle2, Oct 14, 2011.

  1. macdoogle2

    macdoogle2 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 3, 2011
    San Diego
    When one of my hens went broody. I got her some fertile eggs to hatch. The three chicks are now 4 weeks old. How long will it be before they go off on their own and she starts laying again?
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    I had one hen start laying about two weeks after her chicks were hatched. She weaned them at about 3 weeks, so it was even before she weaned them. That was really unusual. I've had some not wean their chicks until they were nine weeks old.

    I had one go a couple of months after weaning their chicks before she started to lay again, but a molt was involved with that. More normal for me has been for them to start laying about two weeks after they wean their chicks. But they are living animals. They don't read the book, so they don't all do what is normal. Both when they wean their chicks and when they start laying can vary quite a bit.
  3. saladin

    saladin Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 30, 2009
    the South
    It also varies with the breed, if they are straight bred birds.

    For example, most Asil, (as ridge said they didn't read a book) the oldest documented domestic breed of chicken in the world, will stay with their chicks up to 4 or 5 months of age; whereas, more modern breeds don't recognize their own chicks within 6 weeks.

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