6 week old chicks mounting their mother?!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by JaeG, Oct 1, 2016.

  1. JaeG

    JaeG Overrun With Chickens

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    Our Silkie chicks are 6 weeks old. Our broody mother who adopted them started laying a week ago but I left her with them as she was still sharing food etc but now is getting a bit cranky with them at times so I will take her out soon. I'm just worried I have 3 boy babies (out of 4!) as I have noticed these 3 occasionally mounting their mother! I know Silkies are very difficult to sex and it's very early days yet. The breeder will replace any cockerels for pullets, so at least I have that as 'insurance' but it's impossible not to get attached (i think I'm worse than the kids)! But has anyone else noticed this sort of behaviour in chicks?
     
  2. Jensownzoo

    Jensownzoo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    At 6 weeks, they may be just establishing their pecking order among themselves instead of trying to mate their mother. Mating with hens is the privilege of the highest ranking males only, so by going through the motions of mating the only hen that they "know" they may be issuing a challenge to the others or basically showing off.

    I did have a little cochin cockerel who was mounting the female --chicks-- at a precocious 2 weeks of age, but he had some other indications of early testosterone elevations as well.
     
  3. JaeG

    JaeG Overrun With Chickens

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    Thanks for the info. Wow - 2 weeks of age is young! One of my babies I was so sure was a girl because it's so little with tiny feet. So I was pretty shocked when I saw it going through the mating motions today! One of the others I've suspected was a boy for awhile as it looks very lanky and ungainly by comparison (it always starts the play fighting too).

    We would love to keep a boy if we could but suburban rules just don't allow it. It's so frustrating!
     
  4. LoudenFarms

    LoudenFarms New Egg

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    Maybe one of you can help me as you both seem to have baby-chick experience!! I have a 4 day old hatchling and this morning I g we woke up to her and a sibling having been pecked and bleeding. We aren't sure they aren't doing it to themselves either. Out of 16 hatched they are the only 2 with a striped loom to them. How do I care for it and prevent it? At this young age, they don't have feather so it's their skin that is getting pecked....
     
  5. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    Where are you brooding them? How much space do they have (x feet wide by y feet long.) What are you using for a heat source? And if you are using a heat lamp, what is the temp under the lamp, and what is the temp at the opposite end of the brooder? Often too much heat, too crowded, lack of protein in the diet can cause cannibalism.
     
  6. Jensownzoo

    Jensownzoo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    As to how you care for the wounds, apply a product called Blue-Kote if you have it in Canada. It is not only an antiseptic, but will hide the wound (via blue dye) so it doesn't attract more pecking.
     
  7. LoudenFarms

    LoudenFarms New Egg

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    Thanks for all your help. We do have the Blue-Kote and we put it on our babies and they seem to be doing much better. I had them separated from the other hatchlings for a couple of days then re-introduced them again. It's seems to have stopped. We will adding the Blue-Kote for a couple more days just to be safe. Now lovingly known as our "purple butt babies"
     
  8. Jensownzoo

    Jensownzoo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Excellent. I've had a few of those babies myself!
     
  9. JaeG

    JaeG Overrun With Chickens

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    Just thought I'd update this as two of the chicks that did this have turned out to be girls, but the one that did it the most is most definitely a boy.
     

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