I have had chickens for years, now. And I have had broody hens raise countless clutches in the flock. She protected them, and with in a short amount of time, the babies were eating between the legs of a big bird, not their mother, occasionally they would get a mind your manners peck. But not the killing rage that many experience trying to get new chicks into the flock.
Last fall, I lost most of my flock to predators, and am now in a do over mode, without a broody hen. I am using lattice panels as a one way gate, and the chicks run through it like water. And they do scatter back to safety if the bigger birds get to close. Or tonight, I saw the rooster talk a bit, only to be ignored by the chicks, so he fluffed up his feathers and flapped his wings, and the chicks scattered. I honestly thought he was acting like an Uncle, giving the kids a scare!
I have been pushing this envelope, my chicks are young, two weeks. However, my big birds seem a little curious about the chicks, and they mostly ignore them, they are not hunting them to kill them. Could this be because they have been around chicks before? The rooster has had several clutches of chicks in his flock, and the hens at least one or two.
So the questions is: Those of you with multi-generational flocks, does the flock get more tolerant of the chicks, if there have been chicks in the flock before?