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Hens attacked the Broodies Chicks!!!!

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
I'm not sure if the mother was slacking or my hens have lost there minds! I've always had bantam Cochins and they've always been great mothers. This years first broody was a first timer (around 8 months old), but I didn't hesitate because it's always worked in the past. For 2 weeks she's had the chicks and all was going well. This week she finally started taking them out to forage with the flock and I began to notice injuries on the chicks! Then I caught the hens in the act of attacking the chicks!!!! Not just a peck here and there either! The were throwing them around and causing them to bleed. I immediately removed the chicks and the mother didn't seem bothered by there absence at all. She's out free ranging with everyone like she never had chicks to begin with. The worst part is that the moms sister is on a nest that is hatching while I type this. I prefer to leave chicks with the mothers but I'm not sure if the mom just wasn't experienced, or my hens are chick haters!!!!
So I guess the question is ....... Should I see if the next hen is better at protecting her chicks, or just remove them? The new mom is currently in a rabbit cage but I think that maybe a little cramped once these chicks hatch.
post #2 of 5

She may just be young and inexperienced, and very intimidated by the older hens.  Next year she might do better, or not.  I have my broody hens in their own dog crate in the coop, and keep them separate for ten days or so after the babies hatch.  This year my hen didn't fight off another hen when the chicks were ten days old, so they were caged another few days.  Now all is well;  she's out with the chicks in the flock, no problems.  Mary

post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Folly's place View Post

She may just be young and inexperienced, and very intimidated by the older hens.  Next year she might do better, or not.  I have my broody hens in their own dog crate in the coop, and keep them separate for ten days or so after the babies hatch.  This year my hen didn't fight off another hen when the chicks were ten days old, so they were caged another few days.  Now all is well;  she's out with the chicks in the flock, no problems.  Mary
Thank you for the reply, it sounds like the new mom will be staying in the cage for a bit then. I just don't know why the other hens decided they'd attack 2 weeks after she had them! Everyone is so hormonal right now though. Some want to be broody too, it maybe messing with the pecking order. I just never expected this.
post #4 of 5

Chickens are little velociraptors in so many ways...  Mary

post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
Hahaha. That's actually what we call the broodies when they're screaming at us!
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