Imprinting...are we really their mom?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Sparrow, May 29, 2008.

  1. Sparrow

    Sparrow Songster

    Apr 11, 2008
    I've been thinking about this lately. We all know that baby birds imprint very early on in their lives to their parental figure. So, with our chicks/ducklings/goslings/ they actually imprint on us? Or do they spend enough time during shipping with their buddies that they just adapt to becoming really close with them? I wonder because they are generally in shipping for the first couple days of their life, and generally imprinting happens during their first days. Are they able to experience a delayed imprinting?

    I have had all of my chicks(18) since they were between 1 and 4 days old, except for one. She is my Black Sex Link, Maggie Mae. ALL of my chicks act very sweet and attached to me. They want to be around me, cuddled, follow my example when I show them how to play with new toys, eat a new food, etc. They even still peep when I cuddle them or when they get in trouble for being naughty. lol My youngest are 4+ weeks, my oldest are 8+. The only chickie I didn't get to have from her earliest days is Maggie, I got her when she was over a week old. She doesn't like to be picked up, and isn't as attached to me as the others are. I just wonder if this is just a really odd coincidence, or if it has to do with the imprinting period.
  2. alex

    alex Songster

    Jul 1, 2007
    Good question. I am thinking the same thing..I have just ordered chicks, so yeah, i also need the answer to that. [​IMG]
  3. Red

    Red Songster

    Mar 17, 2007
    That's an interesting question. I had an orphaned lamb from when she was a few hours old, and i was definitely her mum! But with chicks i'm not so sure...they're not as dependant as some baby animals, they can feed themselves for example.

    The chicks i have now hatched from an incubator. They are 9 weeks old and still try and bury under my jacket / arms like they would do a hen's wings. They won't eat new food unless i pick it up and drop them like a hen would, and they follow me about and come when called.

    I think to an extent chicks do imprint on you. But they're not as dependant as other animals, so they do okay on their own as well. Just my thoughts [​IMG]

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: