Signs that a broody is done raising her chicks?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Happy Chooks, Nov 12, 2010.

  1. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

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    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    My broody is still sleeping with the chicks at night, but I'm noticing during the day she frequently is chasing the chicks. (especially the boys) The chicks are now 7 1/2 weeks old. I don't want to stress her out by taking her from her babies, but I'm getting the feeling she might be wanting to go back to being a normal hen? Should I put her back in with the adults and let the babies be by themselves?
     
  2. NeeleysAVLChicks

    NeeleysAVLChicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 4, 2009
    Leicester, NC
    That's about the age I separated my two sets of broodies this year from their chicks. For my girls, mild chasing turned in to full on attack within just a few days and it was a little heartbreaking to watch the chicks try to go to the hen, while she was trying to push them away. The chicks seemed just a little bit lost for a day or two, but my hens never looked back. [​IMG]

    I think at that age they're perfectly fine on their own.

    Good luck!
     
  3. chickenlady08

    chickenlady08 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 27, 2009
    Eastern Shore, VA
    I think it depends on the hens. I have had some stay with chicks for over 2 months and some the chicks are barely a month old. Has your girl laid any eggs yet? I had one that laid eggs but still let the chicks stay under her and on top of her, then another one that laid an egg and would escape each and every time she had the chance.

    Sorry I can't help more but I do beleive it depends on the chicken.
     
  4. JoAnn_WI_4-H_Mom

    JoAnn_WI_4-H_Mom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 17, 2009
    West Central WI
    Sounds like yours are ready to go back.
     
  5. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

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    chickenlady....no eggs.

    Neely's.......thanks. I'm thinking about removing her from the chicks tonight and putting her back in with the adults. She's been in view of them the whole time, so hopefully going back into the flock won't be a big deal.
     
  6. PuppyBantamCochin

    PuppyBantamCochin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I had two broodies hatch 4 chicks early august and they are still taking care of them. They still let the chicks hide under them at night and they ''supervise'' them whenever they're out. The one rooster chick is very independent and will go off alone all day...but comes back to the coop with his siblings at night. One of the hens just started laying eggs again, but she is still watching her babies. I'd say with these chickens the chicks left the mommas before they left the chicks...it definitely depends, but probably at 7-8weeks it's fine to separate them.
     
  7. ams3651

    ams3651 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 23, 2008
    NE PA
    I put them in together when she is still taking care of them and they have access to a box where they can go if they are chased by the other chickens and later by her. One of my hens was down right mean to the chicks and the last one just didnt bother with them but she was with them a lot longer. The chicks stick together and the hens dont bother with them much because they are used to them.
     
  8. PortageGirl

    PortageGirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    I'd be putting them all in together too.... I'd have done it much earlier in fact. When they're raised in the flock, you don't have the whole integration problem when mixing ages. ...well, a little bit. But when they're little, mama protects them for the most part, and they learn their place in the pecking order very early, and how to avoid trouble too.

    You build a little 'roofed box' where they can have access to extra protection and starter feed, that the full grown chickens can't get into. There's a picture somewhere here that someone built, I'll have to go look for it.
     
  9. PortageGirl

    PortageGirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Not positive this will work for you, but it's what I'd do... this is what another member did (kbird) to protect chicks which had been hatched out in the brush, and mama was raising. I haven't had any hatched this way lately, I don't have my little shelter anymore, you can build it any way that is effective to give them protection, possibly putting it up on bricks to raise it a little more as they got bigger etc but still keep out the full grown hens and roos.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    This one was admittedly built when they were much smaller than yours, but it's still doable, they'll figure it out for hiding if they need to, some kind of 'shelter' for them can be set up inside a coop too.

    Here's the link to the original thread by kbird too. https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=358593&p=2
     
  10. ams3651

    ams3651 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 23, 2008
    NE PA
    i just use a cardboard box, close it and cut a hole large enough for only the chicks to get in. of course I only use it in the coop
     

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