Will a hen recognize the chick(s) she raised later on?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by buckabucka, Aug 1, 2011.

  1. buckabucka

    buckabucka Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am curious about an interesting behavior I saw today, but maybe I am reading too much into it.

    We had a broody Buff Chantecler that raised just one chick. She raised it separate from the flock, in a screened-off area of the coop and run. When the chick was 6 weeks old, the broody had had enough of chick-raising. I moved her to the other side of the screen, and she never looked back. Meanwhile, I added 12 more chicks of the same age from the brooder into the screened area to grow out along with the solitary chick.

    Those chicks are now almost 12 weeks old, still separated from the adult flock. Today the Buff Chantecler came and stuck her beak right up to the hardware cloth of the enclosure and her chick came right over. They stood there beak to beak, talking back and forth in their mysterious chicken language, for about 20 seconds, and then they parted ways. It is the first time I have seen them interact since their separation 6 weeks ago. Do they still know each other? Will the hen always recognize the chick she raised, even into adulthood? This is my first experience with a broody. I'm actually thinking of keeping this chick as my new rooster.
     
  2. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    I think they do. My broody silkie still seeks out her 14 week old chicks in the afternoons and they go off to a place away from the rest of the flock that they prefer to free range in.
    Errrr, well they did before she went broody again. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2011
  3. buckabucka

    buckabucka Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'd like to believe they do, so I'm glad someone else thinks so. [​IMG]

    Jeez, I hope she doesn't go broody a second time this year. The other Buff Chantecler who went broody during a time when I did not want to give her eggs would not break and sat for 60 days! She finally stopped sitting, although 3 others have taken her place. Even the leghorn!
     

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