Topic Options
#48333 - 11/14/09 05:33 PM "weaning chicks"
Kbaiko Offline
Chicken

Registered: 05/24/08
Posts: 98
Loc: Arizona
At what age should a hen "wean" her chicks? Wilma's two chicks were hatched on 9/20. She no longer protects them from other chickens, calls to them to stay with her or calls them to food. She doesn't chase them away, but behaves toward them like any other chicken. She does still let them sleep under her wings at night. I'm concerned because I have a cockerel that chases one of the chicks. There are places to hide but he pulls out feathers if he catches the chick out in the open. Should I separate the chicks at this late date?

Top
#48334 - 11/14/09 06:22 PM Re: "weaning chicks"
Marvin Offline
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 11/23/06
Posts: 1991
Loc: Nicaragua
Unfortunaly there are different kind of mothers, I used to have one that she took care of her chicks for 5 months.... eek

Top
#48335 - 11/16/09 03:18 AM Re: "weaning chicks"
Kbaiko Offline
Chicken

Registered: 05/24/08
Posts: 98
Loc: Arizona
How does weaning and starting to lay eggs again co-ordinate? Does a hen wean the chicks first and that stimulates the egg laying process? Or does the egg laying process start the weaning of the chicks? Wilma has spent the last two days checking out the nest boxes.

Top
#48336 - 11/16/09 01:47 PM Re: "weaning chicks"
Marvin Offline
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 11/23/06
Posts: 1991
Loc: Nicaragua
my hen started laying and she was still taking care of the chick.... eek

Top
#48337 - 11/16/09 02:17 PM Re: "weaning chicks"
CJR Online   content
Coop Master

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 8490
Loc: Montana
It is pretty individual, as Nicamarvin said, some hens will drop some eggs in the pen while still mothering the chicks THAT is time to get them on their own. 6 weeks old is kind of an average time that the mother is needed, although some will wean their chicks at 5 weeks--that is kind of young. Or some just seem to keep theirs on and on! You can be the one to decide, if space is getting touchy. Some hens are not ready to lay for some weeks after chicks are weaned. Be sure they are back on a good Layer Ration, have Oyster Shell available, and if fall or winter, a little Codliveroil on bread may help their systems to recover after the drain of producing a lot of eggs, living on Starter Feed with the chicks, and then start to lay lovely eggs again! Good luck, CJR

Top
#48338 - 11/16/09 04:34 PM Re: "weaning chicks"
Dirt Road Offline
Bantam

Registered: 08/18/08
Posts: 61
Loc: Idaho
If I had a cockerel which was going beyond just "throwing his weight around" with chicks, I'd consider separating him from his head. I realize that's not an option for everyone, but I'm pretty touchy about aggressive roosters.

Top
#48339 - 11/16/09 11:23 PM Re: "weaning chicks"
Foehn Offline
Administrator
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 08/08/06
Posts: 1968
Loc: New Zealand
My broody hen has just driven off her foster chicks at 8 weeks and is laying again. For her that's about normal. Another hen I used as a foster mum was like Nicamarvin's hen and looked after her chicks for months and months which while it was great for the chicks, she did not come back into lay until the following season.

Top


Moderator:  Admin @ The Coop, Moderator2