new mother

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by the girls club, Aug 11, 2013.

  1. the girls club

    the girls club Out Of The Brooder

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    She hatched her 3 eggs. Is thier anything I can do to encourage her from comming out of her broody stage. Or since she has hatched these 3 that were not her own eggs. How long before she starts to lay her own again. I have no rooster. The eggs that hatched were from a friend who had a rooster. Could she be aware that the new chickes were not hers?She acts likee a good mother How long dose a chicken stay broody?
     
  2. imogene08

    imogene08 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    just because there not her chicks does not mean she will not care for them if shes caring for them now she will care for them for awhile maybe seperate the chicks around 3 weeks old broody hens do not lay eggs untill you break the habit
     
  3. Lady of McCamley

    Lady of McCamley Overrun With Chickens

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    You've got a lot of different questions there... and some missing information so I'll have to make some assumptions (ie how long ago did she hatch these chicks; you said new so I'll presume a day or two old, and I presume these chicks are still with the hen).

    First, a broody hen will sit on any eggs and hatch whatever is beneath her. She doesn't care (other than they be bird types I suppose...although I've read funny stories on that too). She will mother the chicks she hatches. She does not care they are not her eggs.

    Secondly, how long she mothers depends on the hen.

    Good mothers stay with the chicks until the chicks are fully feathered and can fend for themselves...usually the "golden" age for that is 6 to 8 weeks depending upon breed and conditions. I like to see the chicks at least 6 or 7 weeks old, preferably 8 weeks, before they integrate into the flock with the mother hen who protects them from the flock as they integrate. At any point thereafter, she can begin to distance herself and lay again.

    Some hens barely stay with the new chicks and are on to laying and nesting again. Those are actually poor mothers as the baby chicks are not ready to be without a mother. .

    My Welsummer mothered until 7 weeks. It was warmer weather and the chicks were fully feather. She had taught them to scratch, find food, find water, and that last week she had taught them to perch. She then showed she was thoroughly done (pacing beside the fence to be let into the main flock). She had also begun the little "egg dance" that 7th week and within the week was laying again.

    My Silkie is still with her hatchlings which are now 8 weeks. She stayed with the last hatch until they were about 12 weeks, and began laying within a couple weeks of that. Silkies are simply more long suffering mothers brooding longer than is really necessary.

    How long for a broody hen who has hatched and mothered to lay? Again depends upon the hen...how long she mothers, how long it take her to finish molting. Hens molt after brooding. (Providential nature's way of cleaning her up after sitting on eggs for so long and having chicks crawl through her feathers poo-ing.)

    Like I said, my Welsummer finished with the chicks on week 7 and was laying by week 8. I've yet to see my Silkie in the mood to lay. Different hens. Different birds.

    You could possibly hurry the process up by taking the chicks away....or you could just prolong her broody behavior as she will be distressed she lost her chicks so early and want to begin all over again. (That happened with my Black Star.)

    I personally wouldn't break her from brooding and caring for her brood if you ever plan to use her again to hatch and brood chicks. Her staying with them and caring for them is a sign of a good mother, and your life is free, free, free from heat lamps and incubators. Letting her finish the process out will allow her to be a good mother and not prolong her broody instincts.

    My 2 cents from my experiences.
    Lady of McCamley
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. the girls club

    the girls club Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 15, 2013
    Thanks for the information. So if I read you right after 8 weeks when her little ones are fully feathered and I put them in the hen house with the other chickens and her. She will start to lay on her own and I won't have to break her broodiness. Just let nature take it's course.She is teaching her new ones how to do things. Her babies are a week old today. I didn't know hens molt after laying No I won't take her chicks away from her to me that would seem cruel. You have really helped me a lot as this is my first experience with a broody chicken. Also seeing a new mother raise her chickens. It's neat to watch
     
  5. Lady of McCamley

    Lady of McCamley Overrun With Chickens

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    Yup...that's pretty much it. Each hen is a bit different when they will start to lay again, but 8 weeks is a good rule of thumb to integrate; and in whatever time, mum will begin to show interest in laying again....usually within a couple of weeks....but there is no set rule...it depends on the hen. Some go broody again almost immediately, but most will begin to lay and not brood again for awhile...how soon again depends on the bird. Some will brood again in a matter of months, some not until the same time next year. Some never brood again...but usually when they've had a successful brood they will brood again.

    Enjoy mom and the chicks. It is indeed fun to watch them. :D
    Lady of McCamley
     
  6. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Overrun With Chickens

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    I'm not trying to ruffle feathers, but this statement is completely untrue. My broody hen has 8, 1 week old chicks. When I let her and her kids out of their "sleeping cage" this morning she had left me an egg. The door is locked each night after I put her and the chicks inside so there's no way it belonged to someone else. She went broody once before and did the same thing, started laying a week or two after the chicks hatched. But, she continues to mother her babies after she goes back to laying eggs. I literally sold her last brood out from under her, the last chick went to its new home at 10 weeks old. After the chicks were gone, she promptly went broody (which is where we are now). I've had 2 other hens that will lay and raise chicks at the same time. Maybe I just hit the broody jackpot, I dunno.
    But, yes. Each hen is different. I've had other that took FOREVER after they'd abandoned their babies. And others that started laying the same day they decided they were done with them. Good luck :)
     

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