Mothers with chicks laying eggs

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by wendyabc, Oct 31, 2011.

  1. wendyabc

    wendyabc New Egg

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    Oct 31, 2011
    Hi, new to this but earlier looked up to see when a hen will start laying eggs again if still with her chicks. Most answers were not at all. I have a bantam, don't know if it is a particular breed, but she has 2 spangle chicks which are only 3 1/2 weeks old and she has just laid an egg. Just wondering if anybody else has also experienced this. Also I have been given a mixture of 5 week old chicks along with their Mum. How can I tell their sex please. Looking forward to some answers please. Thanks, Wendy.
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    She's probably about to stop mothering the chicks. Usually I read they stop around 4-6 weeks; my few mamas have been in that range. I imagine you'll be seeing signs she wants to be back with the flock, roosting with the others, and she may well even peck (gently, IME) at the chicks to get them to quit following her around.

    Mine raise their chicks in with the flock, so if a mama with chicks laid an egg, I wouldn't know it. It really doesn't surprise me that yours did, though. They are such individuals. In general they don't lay while mothering -- but only in general.
     
  3. wendyabc

    wendyabc New Egg

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    Hi flockwatcher, she is seperate from the other hens. I have 4 mums with chicks and they are all in seperate runs but the freeranging chickens can walk around these pens. Is it too early for the chicks to be on their own. Thanks, Wendy (New Zealand)
     
  4. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    The only problem might be with temperature. They might be a little young if your nights are lower than 20C, though I've had them do fine at that temp and age. I'd make sure they have a cozy, draft free spot to cuddle together, maybe a pile of hay in a corner or a nest, something like that, especially if they look pretty well feathered out.
     
  5. wendyabc

    wendyabc New Egg

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    Only trouble is I can't let them free range yet as I have two good hunting cats. We are just coming into summer here in New Zealand so it is not a question of cold. Last year I waited until they were 3 months old before I let the chicks free range with the bigger hens. Propably do the same but was worried about them only being 2 1/2 weeks old and surviving without their mum. Thanks,
     
  6. Elphaba2140

    Elphaba2140 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I had two hens raise chicks this summer (July) and they just now started to lay again. They were real good moms and are still close to the young ones (bigger than mom). They even sleep together on the roost. It is kinda cute. Mom's were bantams and the chicks are crossbred bantam/standard size. Yours are too young to be left by the mother hen. I had separated my hens and chicks at hatching or prior. They returned to the flock at about 4 weeks of age. They have much to learn yet at that age and need protection from the other hens. It will be difficult to tell the sex unless they are sex-linked or a breed where the roo and hens are different color patterns. Submit images later after they get all their feathers and are more mature.







    Edited to say "Yours are too young"
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2011
  7. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    To clarify, I was assuming you meant the chicks would still be separate from mature hens. They might indeed have a rough time with other hens and without a mama to protect them, if they have not been in the same pen all this time. Mine are raised in with the flock and have always done fine when mama quit mothering, although they don't really join the flock til full size, they keep to themselves, and mine have a lot of space to do this in; a large coop and a yard about 70'x70' (very roughly, 25 meters by 25 meters.)
     
  8. wendyabc

    wendyabc New Egg

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    Thank you for all of your help. I have 17 chicks in total and 6 hopefully in 2 weeks so I shall be kept busy. Down to 3 free range hens but get 4 eggs every 2nd day at the moment so in all happy to have swapped orpingtons etc for bantams. Not so hard on our property. Still would love to know the sex of the 9x 5 week olds as we can't have roosters where I live and would sell them fairly quickly before they start crowing. Cheers, Wendy.
     
  9. wendyabc

    wendyabc New Egg

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    Oct 31, 2011
    Me again, I asked the question yesterday re when do the mother hens start laying eggs again. She was very quiet yesterday but has been very vocal most of the morning so I checked up on her and we now have egg no 2. Has settled back down again so I should expect her to repeat this behavior every 2nd day or is it a short term thing with laying eggs. Does anybody out there have the same thing happen. Many thanks, Wendy.
     
  10. wood&feathers

    wood&feathers Chillin' With My Peeps

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    As long as she is caring for her chicks I wouldn't worry about her laying. My best broody begins laying about 5-6 wks after hatch. She remains close to her babies, but is quite firm with them about intruding on the nest while she is laying. This year's batch are 3 months old, but several still burrow under mom as our nights get colder - and she lets them stay there! Looks pretty funny really.
     

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