not laying eggs after chicks


7 Years
Sep 13, 2012
So. IL
I have a buff orp hen who had 7 chick June 25. They will be 18 weeks tomorrow. The mom still sleeps with them on/under/around her instead of roosting them. She hasn't laid any eggs since they have hatched. The chicks are 5 roosters (which will be butchered soon) and 3 hens. What gives? Is this normal?
I don't have a lot of experience with broody hens myself, so I couldn't say if it's normal or not. I do know mamas of all species can stay attached to their babies long after they stop looking like babies, so if it was me I wouldn't worry about it too much unless you're concerned about a lack of eggs for your table. Your "chicks" on the other hand should be old enough now that they will start wanting some independence, and they may start roosting on their own soon whether mama roosts with them or not.

If the mama hen was showing signs of distress or illness, I'd be more concerned, but I think what you have is just a chicken case of a mother reluctant to kick her kids out of the house.
Don't worry. Soon the young ones will start to want to do their own thing and not want mother around them all the time (same as human kids).

Once one starts to roost off the ground they will all follow, including mother hen, and after that she should start laying again.

Are you other hens still laying? She may not start again if its winter - but if the other hens are still laying she should also.
It's not normal for my birds. I think my broodies read a book saying they're supposed to brood the chicks until 6 weeks! I swear, about six weeks to the day momma's back on the roost and the babies figure out how to get up there with her, after making a huge fuss of course. They're 8-9 weeks old now and she still calls them for food/treats, but no snuggles at all.

I don't know what you'd do about it, except to see what happens when you butcher the roos. You could try seperating momma and see if that kicks her into laying again. My girls usually start laying 2 weeks after "weaning" the babies, so about 8 weeks after hatch.
It's not normal here either. Everyone of my broody's at about 7 weeks got so mean to the chicks they just stayed away from her. I've had 6 hatch chicks so for and they all do the same thing. Some a little sooner and some later. But each one of um runs the chicks off. My biggest problem was getting the chicks to roost and out of the box. That gets messy in the box. It usually takes me about a week to get the on the roost. My gracious they're stubborn. But with enough persistence I get it done.

My first two raising chicks was the Buffs and they were just about the meanest.

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