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Normal Broody Behavior Towards Chicks

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

I gave my broody Silkie 3 fertilized eggs to hatch 3 weeks ago.  They are all hatched and doing well.  They are 1.5 days old.  I've noticed that they are getting more adventuresome already and getting out from under mama.  Whenever the chicks get out in front her her she pecks them.  Hard!  If they are behind her or under her she lets them do whatever they want.  But if they get directly in front of her face while she is laying there she gives them a really hard peck?  

 

Why is she doing this?  I would think if she was homicidal then she would be relentless in going after them.  She only does this when they get out from under her.  Is she telling them to go back under and get warm?  Or is she already rejecting them?  She is still setting and doesn't look like she plans to get up anytime soon so she is not abandoning them.  

post #2 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by cbookout View Post
 

I gave my broody Silkie 3 fertilized eggs to hatch 3 weeks ago.  They are all hatched and doing well.  They are 1.5 days old.  I've noticed that they are getting more adventuresome already and getting out from under mama.  Whenever the chicks get out in front her her she pecks them.  Hard!  If they are behind her or under her she lets them do whatever they want.  But if they get directly in front of her face while she is laying there she gives them a really hard peck?  

 

Why is she doing this?  I would think if she was homicidal then she would be relentless in going after them.  She only does this when they get out from under her.  Is she telling them to go back under and get warm?  Or is she already rejecting them?  She is still setting and doesn't look like she plans to get up anytime soon so she is not abandoning them.  


I'm betting this is a first time mom and doesn't quite understand what has happened. Hopefully this behavior will soon stop as it is not normal mother hen behavior.

post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 

Yes this is her first time.  She started laying eggs at 9months and laid for 1 month before going broody.  She was an incredible broody, so careful and gentle with the eggs.  Pulled out a giant patch of feathers on her chest for warmth and humidity and now that they have hatched I noticed she has pulled out some more chest feathers to make a bigger space for them. 

 

As long as they don't get directly in front of her she seems to understand the need to care for them and keep them warm.  

post #4 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by cbookout View Post
 

Yes this is her first time.  She started laying eggs at 9months and laid for 1 month before going broody.  She was an incredible broody, so careful and gentle with the eggs.  Pulled out a giant patch of feathers on her chest for warmth and humidity and now that they have hatched I noticed she has pulled out some more chest feathers to make a bigger space for them. 

 

As long as they don't get directly in front of her she seems to understand the need to care for them and keep them warm.  


Keep an eye on them, of course, but hopefully all will be fine.

post #5 of 7

Mine sometimes do that in the first few days when they're still laying on any remaining unhatched eggs. It's almost like she's saying "no, you need to wait here with me for a little bit until all the others have hatched then we can all go out into the world together".  After that, she's quite kind to them and will let them pick at her face & jump all over her. But yes, keep an eye on them as it doesn't take much to injure them when they're little. Good luck!

post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 

Well I could not be more pleased with my little black Silkie hen.  She has become the absolute best mother.  I think @nchls school was 100% correct in that, being that she is a first time mom she wasn't quite sure what was happening when the eggs turned into chicks!  

 

She stopped pecking them almost immediately and then the tables turned, they peck all around her face and in her feathers looking for crumbs, climb all over her etc.  She hatched 3 speckled sussex/easter egger crosses for me.  Once I saw how great of a mom she was, the next day I brought home some more day old chicks for her to raise, 3 black australorps, 2 buff orpingtons and 1 easter egger.  I did not wait until night as some have suggested, I just took them straight out of the box one by one and slipped them under her.  She did not mind at all and allowed them to join in the eating, chirping, running and around and climbing her like the other 3.  So the following day I added 2 more!  A blue ameraucana and a lavender ameraucana day old chicks.  Same program, just slipped them right under her during the day.  She was up and eating at the time and I think she knew they needed some heat because she just sat right down on them and did not get up for hours.  They emerged from underneath her fluffy and happy.  She is now raising 11 adopted chicks for me!!!  

 

Silkies really do make the best broody's and mommy's!!!  Although it was only 3 eggs, she had a 100% success rate of hatching.  I will let her go broody as much as she wants and she can be my official flock mom.

 

(The 3 reddish chicks are the speckled sussex/easter egger crosses she hatched) 

 

 

 

 

 

post #7 of 7

cbookout-Nice pictures-cute chicks and hen-so glad that all worked out well.

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