What age will a broody abandon baby chicks? 4-6-8 weeks?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by chickenguysmom, May 17, 2009.

  1. chickenguysmom

    chickenguysmom Chillin' With My Peeps

    My broody just kicked her young cockeral chick to the curb. Won't let it free-range with her or be near the flock. Even pecks it if it comes near. It's clutch-mate that I think (maybe) is a pullet is still allowed to graze with her.

    What age did your broody "cut the apron strings" and is it quicker when the chick is male?
  2. Marlinchaser

    Marlinchaser Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 18, 2007
    I have never had one choose which ones could stay with her. Mine always seem to distance themselves from the chicks, but will still nest with the little ones at night. Then one day they fly up to the rafters and leave the babies on the ground. From then on she doesnt want anything to do with them.

    As far as timewise, it varies with each hen. I have had some break it off after just a couple weeks, and some stay around for 8+weeks, and I had to seperate them, so she could get back to laying eggs.
  3. chickenguysmom

    chickenguysmom Chillin' With My Peeps

    I forgot to add in my OP that the cockeral is 6 weeks and is very gentle. Other than the red comb and wattles, you wouldn't be able tell the difference between the pullet (guessing) and the cockeral.
  4. Portia

    Portia Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 29, 2008
    South Central PA
    Depends entirely on the hen. I have had different hens of the same breed absolve themselves of motherly duties after 1.5 weeks, and another still nest at night with her brood when they were 6 weeks old. My rooster took over as a surrogate on the 1.5 weeker & let him roost under him every night for weeks. The little guy would even huddle up under the roo when out free ranging. I've also had lone teen hens look after 3-4 week olds, and other broodies take up stragglers from another broody. It all depends on the chicken.
  5. chickenguysmom

    chickenguysmom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Flock dynamics are very interesting. Our flock is very small. When she was teaching her chicks all the things they do when chicks are young she made sure that the other hen didn't come anywhere near the chicks. When she found food she called them over, let them eat first.

    Now, when she finds food -- she eats it and pecks anyone who tries to get "her food". She has also let the other hen back near her and the two hens and the supposed pullet all free-range together. She pecks her pullet if it gets in her way, but the pullet just hunkers down stands there and takes the "scolding", then they all move on.

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