human raised chicks vs hen raised chicks

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by countrybuffs, Sep 24, 2011.

  1. countrybuffs

    countrybuffs Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 30, 2011
    Silverton, Oregon
    I have 4 hens that I bought as day-old chicks and raised as usual with the heat lamp and all. I also have 2 chicks that I bought as day-old chicks and gave to my broody hen to raise (which she did very well:)) I notice a big differance in the attitudes of the 2 that were hen-raised. They tend to stay together with each other but they wander off from the other 4 a lot. (My chickens are very free range, but get locked up at night.) These 2 have also found a place outside of the coop to hide a nest, and although they are kind of friendly, they are not as attached to me as the other 4. When they were little chicks still, I had daily contact feeding them, etc., and I would pick them up once in a while, but not as much as the first 4 that were raised under the light and knew that I ALWAYS brought food. It isn't like they were totally wild and never saw a person!They don't really seem attached to the hen who raised them either. I just thought this was interesting and decided to share, has anyone else noticed this behavior?
    Abriana likes this.
  2. couponsaver47

    couponsaver47 Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 14, 2010
    I have noticed this with some of mine. The ones that were raised by us all flocked together & the ones naturally hatched here would wander..I should say all our chickens were originally raised in our spare bedroom until they were old enough to handle life outside. We got all of them from Privitt Hatchery. But, we had a great stock of broody marans that hatched several & those were the ones that would wander & act wild.

    Sadly all that came to an end when the coyotes, foxes & badgers got my hole flock(except my Roo). 50 birds within 3 weeks!! Problem was only solved by my pitbulls & german shepard. They ate 2 badgers 3 fox & 1 coyote.

    All the best in your venture.
  3. WooingWyandotte

    WooingWyandotte Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 25, 2011
    Nor cal
    Aren't chicks healthier when they are raised by a broody? I think so. Even though they are wilder, which is the downside.
  4. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Things would get informative if you had four groups of chicks. Two groups raised by separate hens and two raised in separate brooders. You would find chicks raised together flock together although the brooder reared group would on whole be more inclined to associate with you. Simply because two groups were reared by hens does not mean they will flock together later. My do not unless both hens belong to harem of same rooster and in my situation both broods then began to associate with father when mothers renested (see following thread for details I went an extra mile with hand rearing (chicks were with me most of day and trained to come when called by name) and they associate with me even as adults much more than typical brooder reared siblings.

    I also prefer quality of hen reared chicks but they require more land / shelter resources. My most recent hand reared females were allowed to rear their chicks and I made efforts to interact with those bitties. Such bitties now almost as interactive with me a their hand reared mothers.
  5. galanie

    galanie Treat Dispenser No More

    Aug 20, 2010
    In my experience, which is far from exhaustive, they get friendly anyway depending on how much time you want to spend on it. But then again, I never raise them expecting lap chickens. If they want to be, fine, but they don't get any more handling than they want to have after about 6 weeks. I am calm and good to my chickens, very attentive, and out with them a lot. So the hand reared ones end up as "tame" as the hen raised ones. Maybe it's my expectations that are different. Treats really tend to do the most in both situations. The more irresistible treats I feed from my hand, the more trusting they get to be.
  6. snowflake

    snowflake Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 21, 2009
    Belding Michigan
    I have to agree with galanie, the chicks raised by mom are much wilder to begin with.As they age and see the other hens run when you come into the yard ,they soon learn that some people almost always bring treats. even my hand raised hens don't like to be picked up much any more. I do find the roosters handled A LOT as chicks are friendlier as adults.
  7. snowflake

    snowflake Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 21, 2009
    Belding Michigan
    don't know that they are any healthier if raised by hen. I have not seen a difference in their health.
  8. Beekissed

    Beekissed Flock Master

    Quote:I don't find it to be a downside. I don't need to handle my girls very much at all, maybe once or twice a year. On the other hand, they free range and that wildness is desirable....they need to be a little wary, a little flighty, to be responsive to the roo's alarm.

    And, yes, chicks thrive better, feather out quicker, forage better and learn flock behavior quicker with broody moms.
  9. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    I've noticed it to some extent. My "batches" of broody raised chicks do stick together as adults, forming what I call mini-flocks; of which I have 3 sets within the flock.

    Regardless, I feel that the broody raised chicks are better off in the long run even if they aren't as human friendly. They end up with more chicken smarts (survival skills) and that is of vital importance to free range birds.
  10. crysab

    crysab Just Hatched

    Dec 13, 2016
    Manitoba, Canada
    I realize this is a very old thread but I am currently raising 7 chicks in the brooder and have a hen raising 5 in the coop. The ones in the brooder are growing like crazy, however the hen raised chicks are growing much slower. Could this be related to the competition for food? I have chick starter for them but the momma hen eats some and the other hens can grab some as well. I try to keep it full but they other birds constantly have access. Any ideas? The chicks in the brooder are Marans and olive eggers, the hen raised ones are wheaten ameracaunas. Thanks in advance.

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