Thursday night I took the mother hen out from the chicks that we hatched back at the beginning of May.
I'm never quite sure when to take the hen away from the chicks, last year I just left the hen in with them but this year there's been lots of fighting and bickering. These chicks are six weeks old and the hen had started to lay again, a sure sign she's not interested. To prove the point when I took her out and put her back with the other laying hens she made no fuss at all.
The chicks seem relieved and are enjoying a quieter few days where they're not being bullied or pecked. They all look really healthy and are growing well, but much much slower than a commercial breed that would be killed at 8 weeks old (check out Sunnybrook farms post here and see the picture of one of his commercial breed chicks at 8 weeks, even though they've been brought up outside).
When does everyone else remove the hen that hatched the chicks or do you leave the older bird in with them?