Mom is tired of her kids


9 Years
May 24, 2010
Albion, California
Our Speckled Sussex broody did a great job hatching and caring for her chicks, for about 2.5 weeks... They hatched on Easter weekend, so are now 3 weeks old, wings and tails feathered but still growing body and head feathers. She seems to be ready to leave them - doesn't "mother" them at all during the day, in fact she chases them and pecks them when they get too close. Tonight I watched at bedtime, and she paced up and down the fence, trying to get out of the "broody run" and back to the roosting shed with the rest of the flock. All the chicks went into the nest box, which is a 16" plywood cube. Eventually she gave up and went into the box as well, and the kids were soooo happy, crawling under her and jumping on her back - but she still didn't seem "motherly" and pecked at them a little. As it got darker they settled down and I'm sure they will be fine in the night. But it's clear she is no longer interested in being a Mom!

So, should I just let her back into the flock, and will the chicks be warm enough without her? I can't let the chicks out into the main yard yet, the Ravens will take them. There are 8 chicks, here are pics from yesterday:



She's more than ready to start laying, I forgot to mention - she's laid three eggs in the last 4 days...

Good to know the chicks will be OK without her. I was worried they might get chilled at night, it's still down in the low 40s here, with a 20 mph wind. (That's summer on the Mendocino Coast for you!)

So tomorrow I will let her back into the flock, and start stringing more fishing line overhead to deter the Ravens, so I can let the kids into the yard as well. They will be OK with the other chickens without a Momma to defend them?
The way the wind is blowing here, you should be feeling a cool breeze in a few hours!

Night light is not an option, too far from power source. (Wish I could tap off the electric fence!)

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