I need some advice....

chickfan

Songster
10 Years
Oct 12, 2009
273
4
119
Leander, TX
We have two hens that have just recently hatched some eggs. They are in separate cages, but side by side. One of the mamas was getting very restless....scratching at the flooring (pine shavings on top of the back side of a piece of carpet), scratching at food, almost hitting the babies as she scratched. I thought she was wanting out of there. The babies hatched 9 days ago...seem very healthy, able to eat and drink, etc. I mentioned the chicken in the cage next to her, whose eggs hatched 12 days ago, and mama doesn't seem to want out. So the two are not acting the same.
We have a duck and two little ones in a brooder in the house, so day before yesterday, I moved the babies to there, and let the restless mama out. Since then, she has stayed right by the cage where they were, looking up at it, clucking a lot, and obviously missing her babies. This is killing me! How long will it take for her to stop doing this? Do all chickens do this? I have no place to put her with her babies, other than in this cage, which is adequate size, I think. What should I do? Wait for her to calm down, or move her babies out of the brooder and back to the cage, and put her back in with them? It just seems so sad for her to keep missing them like this.
There are 5 babies in the other cage, and a family is going to be taking them any day now, so I'm leaving their mama with them for now. I'm wondering if I need to expect this separation problem with her too?

Thanks for any advice.
 

BayChicks

In the Brooder
10 Years
Mar 24, 2009
57
1
31
Reedville
The other mama won't do that because her chicks will be gone. She'll probably just go back to being a chicken. The worried mama is doing that because her chicks are right there and she knows it. Can you put them somewhere else where she can't hear/see them?
 

chickfan

Songster
10 Years
Oct 12, 2009
273
4
119
Leander, TX
They are in the house, so she can't see them (or hear them). Maybe it would help if I go ahead and clean and move the cage they were in? I hadn't really thought about that. I have to do that anyway.
The plan was when the others are gone, we were going to take everyone out of the brooder and put them back outside, into the cage where the others still are. It is a bit bigger, and it is plenty hot outside now for them to be out...will still use a light at night for awhile. That may make the mama miss them more when she sees them again. Sheesh! LOL!
Thanks for the reply. I'll get that cage moved and we'll see if that helps.
 

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