Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by mmclaughlin, Nov 11, 2014.

  1. mmclaughlin

    mmclaughlin Chirping

    Jul 28, 2013
    New Hampshire
    How long will a hen raise her chicks
    I have 4 chicks now 12 weeks and they still try to sleep under momma... and she has her eye watching them all the time
    the little roo(already crowing for a month now!!) and one chick will be going to a new home this weekend ..will momma know they are gone??
    does that make her a good broody/mom????
    thanks Michelle
  2. mtngirl35

    mtngirl35 Songster

    Dec 10, 2013
    Most hens raise their chicks for 5-6 weeks then start running them off until they are just other flock members to them. I have seen hens refuse to raise their chicks at all or raise them for unusually long periods of time. I honestly don't know how she will react to being separated from them.
  3. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. .....

    Mar 9, 2014
    My Coop
    It really varies from bird to bird. Some are done with mothering earlier than others. Also, time of year tends to have an impact on this as I have noticed my broodies are inclined to keep mothering a little longer during cold season hatches than they are during the warmer seasons - which is good since the cold weather chicks need that extra brooding time to feather out and be ready to keep themselves warm.
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    I’ve had a hen wean her chicks at three weeks in the summer and hens go as long as nine weeks, sometimes in the summer too. As you can see, some go a lot longer. I’ve had hens stop taking care of the chicks during the day but protect them on the roost at night. I’ve had hens take care of the chicks during the day but leave them on their own at night. No two broodies are the same and the same broody will probably do something different with her second brood. As long as she raises them to where they can handle the weather and get along in the flock she is a good broody.

    Will the hen miss that one chick if she still has the other three? Highly unlikely. A chick will occasionally die, either from predators or some other reason. The hen is programmed to take care of the living chicks, not mourn over the missing and put her other chicks in danger. If you take all the chicks away she will look for them for a day or two, then break from being broody and go about getting ready to lay more eggs. When she truly weans her chicks they are no longer her chicks, just other flock members.
  5. mmclaughlin

    mmclaughlin Chirping

    Jul 28, 2013
    New Hampshire
    Thank for all the info!! I guess 12 weeks IS a little long to still be mothering.. Hoping when 2 go to forever homes she will get back to laying some eggs!
  6. mmclaughlin

    mmclaughlin Chirping

    Jul 28, 2013
    New Hampshire
    Update on weaning chicks... I re-homed the roo and 1 hen and they other 2 are still sleeping under mom at night
    will she ever lay again?? Will the new hens be delayed laying their own eggs?? they are 14 weeks
    and are still very attached to mom lol!!

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