Mom hen abandoned her chick... this is getting crazier!

dianneS

Songster
Mar 16, 2009
843
62
241
South Central PA
Okay, I have a Livestock Guardian dog, puppy that is ten months old now. He's doing a great job, but is too young to be trusted around chickens.

A 12 week old chick went under the goat fence, in with the dog, and the dog pounced on the baby immediately. I screamed and the dog let go of the chick, and the chickie ran away unharmed.

I'm actually really pleased with the dogs reaction, that he didn't hurt the chick.

Anyway, in the process of all of this, the mamma hen took off and has rejected her baby now! She either thinks the little thing got killed and she has moved on with her life, or she thinks that stupid little baby is too much of a liability to be hanging around with!

Do you think mom will come around and take this baby back? Do hens ever abandon their chicks when they are this young? I feel so bad for the poor little thing. It was headed for a nest box to sleep by itself tonight when I left the coop.

I went out to check on the chick and this is just getting nuts! Read on for the whole story if you aren't too confused by the "chick with two moms!"
 
Last edited:

sydney13

Songster
Mar 11, 2010
1,364
18
204
Massachusetts
when she and the chicks are sleeping try slipping the chick in with the other chick, if she doesn't take him then u you could always raise him yourself and then introduce it when it is about 6 months
 

dianneS

Songster
Mar 16, 2009
843
62
241
South Central PA
Quote:
That is the only chick she had. She is on the roost tonight, not even in a nest. The poor little thing was headed up the ladder to a nest box to sleep alone tonight! I'll have to go out and check and see where the little one decided to crash for the night.
 

dianneS

Songster
Mar 16, 2009
843
62
241
South Central PA
Quote:
That is the only chick she had. She is on the roost tonight, not even in a nest. The poor little thing was headed up the ladder to a nest box to sleep alone tonight! I'll have to go out and check and see where the little one decided to crash for the night.

This is just getting crazier and crazier! I went out to check on the whole situation. Mamma hen is done with the baby, she's on the roost with the rest of the chickens. Baby has crawled underneath another broody who has a two week old chick with her! She's got a tiny little fuzzy head sticking out from under one wing and big goofy chick head sticking out from under the other!

The even weirder twist to this whole tale is that this hen, that has currently seemed to have adopted this chick, was the original hen to hatch this baby! The other hen, who's been raising this little one since he was about three weeks old, had a nest and never hatched anything, so she abandoned the nest and joined this hen in caring for her one baby. One day the original hen who did the hatching, just gave up full custody of the baby to her sister and she's been raising him ever since. Up until today when he got attacked by the dog! Now he's back with his original mother! Poor kid! The chick with two moms!

I wonder how this is all going to work out tomorrow when this hen has one big 12 week chick and a little 2 week chick? I hope the big one doesn't pick on the little one!

Crazy!
 

Frosty

Crowing
12 Years
13 Years
Mar 30, 2008
2,923
143
321
ND
Maybe she wants baby chick to roost with her... when my chicks feather out, the mom's start roosting and the chicks join their mom.
 

Barry Natchitoches

Songster
11 Years
Sep 4, 2008
649
43
194
Tennessee
With my broody's first clutch, she took care of the babies for three and one half weeks.


She lived in a dog pen inside the big henhouse with her three babies.


At three and one half weeks old, she clamored to get out of that pen one day.


So I let her out, and she immediately RAN to the nesting area and climbed into one of the nests. About forty minutes later she got off that nest, leaving a nice, warm egg behind.


And that was it for her.


She figured she had done her job. She had taught them to eat, drink, scratch, forage and socialize. And they knew those things by three and a half weeks, so she figured her time as a teacher was up.


I put her back in the dog pen that night, but the next day she clamored to get back out with the big chickens, and wouldn't even go back in again.


The babies did fine with just three and a half weeks of mothering.


Well, for that matter, we get chick babies from the feed store who have no mother at all, and they do pretty well with just a heat lamp, feed, water and a safe environment to live in.


I'm sure your 12 week old will be just fine, now that Momma has gone back to the adult flock.
 

dianneS

Songster
Mar 16, 2009
843
62
241
South Central PA
Well, it looks like baby adopted the other broody to keep him warm last night, and this morning, his other mom, who had abandoned him after the dog attack, has taken him back again!

I really think that she thought her baby was dead and after seeing him this morning in the hen house with her, she took him back!

Crazy. She must have figured her days as a mother were over after what she thought she saw was a big dog killing her chick! She must be relieved that he survived after all! They seem back to normal today!
 

MuranoFarms

Songster
10 Years
Nov 14, 2009
2,335
28
246
Boyers, Pa
Do you mean 12 days? 12 weeks is almost as big as mommy! I wanna see a pic of him trying to sleep under her wing.
gig.gif


If he is 12 weeks, just put him up on the roost next to her at night. He'll figure it out.
 

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