Ok, the winter broody hen saga continues... (heavy sigh) After finally hatching the eggs around new years, and living in the house until I couldnt stand it, the hen and her three chicks were moved out to the coop in a nice roomy cage of thier own. They are now around 5-6 weeks old, and at that hairy ugly stage. One cochin chick, one buff silky chick, and one black fizzle chick. (no relation to each other, all fertile eggs stuck under the broody.) Well now I have had to boot the hen out of the cage, cause she is attacking the silky and the frizzle!
What gives? I have let her out every day that she has wanted to, to roam and feed, and then when she wanted, back in she went, and she was being such a good mommy! but now she chases them around the cage and they are screaming! So I toss her out, and she ignores them, but at night she roosts on top of the cage like she wants to be near them, so I put her in, and she starts up again!
The few times the chicks have been down on the floor with the rest of the big birds, there has been too much predatory interest for my peace of mind, they are too small and squeaky still. And now thier mom doesnt even show a smidge of concern when the other hens go after the chicks. At what point does she 'wean' them? This seems awfully early to me, they are still partly downy!
I tell you what, I will never let a hen raise chicks again. I will do it myself, or not at all! Sheesh!
Edited by chickenpiedpiper - 2/15/09 at 4:27pm