Motherly duties

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by cabinfever, Sep 8, 2008.

  1. cabinfever

    cabinfever New Egg

    3
    0
    7
    Jul 22, 2008
    A Barred Rock went broody, so we got her some fertile eggs. She faithfully sat, and hatched 5, and cared for them in the first 5-6 weeks. Then, out of the blue, one of the other hens, a Delaware, started taking on the motherly duties of the original broody. Now the chicks (about 8 weeks old) are ranging about with this "foster mother". (Of course neither made any DNA contribution whatsoever to the chicks.) Original broody Barred Rock is now kinda mean to the chicks. Anybody ever seen this sort of switcheroo?

    Also, any hints on how to get these chicks to roost? They seem willing, but the Barred Rock kicks them off the roost, and they end up sleeping on the floor with their Delaware foster mom. They were all cramming into a nest box until we blocked it off at night to keep it cleaner...
     
  2. Chirpy

    Chirpy Balderdash

    3,788
    12
    221
    May 24, 2007
    Colorado
    I just saw this post and wanted to see if you got any help with your questions?

    I've heard of a hen helping to raise chicks that were brooded and hatched by another hen. I've heard of hens trying to steal chicks from other hens so, I'm guessing this is just another part of the interesting chickendom world.

    As to the roosting issue... I would go in after dark and physically place the chicks on the roosts (away from the meanie) and see if they wake up together for a few nights if the BR will leave them alone.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by