10wk(ish) Easter Egger treating younger chicks like she's mom?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by JSOLTREN, Mar 10, 2014.

  1. JSOLTREN

    JSOLTREN New Egg

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    Mar 10, 2014
    New backyard chicken keeper here...
    I bought 3 Easter Egger's thinking that is all I would get but then I got sucked in quickly during chick week at TSC. I now have a total of 7 babies between 2-4 weeks old and the 3 EE's. One of the EE's immediately started treating the new babies like they were hers including keeping the other 2 EE's away from them and being mean to them. I'm having to keep those 2 in another pen because Penelope beats them up if they even dare look at one of her babes the wrong way.

    Is this normal and ok? I thought I should take her out of the pen from the little ones too but she freaks out and won't shut up until you put her back. Full on panic attack! Right now they are all in a fuzzy pile asleep with the teeny bantams up under wings!

    It's adorable but I want to make sure it's ok... and will I ever be able to get the other 2 EE's into the flock? Thanks! ~ Jen
     
  2. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Chicken Obsessed

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    No, this is not normal, but I would encourage it! How big is the area they are in? How old are the EE? How long have you had the babies and how long have the other 2 EE been separated from the rest of the flock? You're going to have increased integration issues, the longer you keep the other 2 away from the flock. If you can give them a nice big area, perhaps a minimum of 20 square feet, and give the 2 cast outs places to get out of sight of the "mama", and perhaps an other feed/water station, all should be well. The "mama" is only doing what she's programmed to do, even if she is doing it at a very young age. As long as she's not drawing blood, and as long as the other 2 EE leave the babies alone, that's the best you can expect.
     
  3. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Chicken Obsessed

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    Update: I just read your thread title... got it... 10 weeks! In which case, the set up needs to be about 40 s.f. to give them plenty of room. You might want to keep a heat lamp available for the chicks just in case the "mama" gets tired of babysitting these wee ones. But, not seeing your set up, I'm merely flying by the seat of my pants with my recommendations! Have fun with it.
     
  4. JSOLTREN

    JSOLTREN New Egg

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    Thanks for the advice! They have about 25sqft of floor space & the pen is about 3ft deep... I'm adding a couple tree branches today for the older ones to climb on. I've also kept the heat lamp on one side and that's where they all puddle and sleep. It's so funny because she (Penelope) is huge compared to them especially the bantam babies but she lays down and fluffs out her feathers so they can all crawl up onto and under her. She never pecks at them or chases them. I'll have to try and get a picture today. :)

    As for the other 2, I think they are just chasing and acting like normal older chicks would with younger ones, there doesn't appear to be anything mean going on but Penelope HATES it and keeps them in a corner of the pen... I've been taking them out at night when I can't watch them (pen is right by my desk - I work from home) I'm hoping that once the babies start getting bigger maybe she'll lighten up and they'll all become a flock. *fingers crossed*
     
  5. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Chicken Obsessed

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    It'll happen. Soon, it'll be warm enough for you to take them outside for play dates. that will help a lot.
     

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