Slaneyrose

Hatching
Sep 25, 2020
4
2
3
My hen hatched her only chick (male) 8 wks ago, last week I got 2 more very young pullets, she is still bullying them and they are terrified of her. Is it because she has a "baby" and should I separate him from her now?
 

Chicalina

Songster
Aug 1, 2020
1,441
1,876
241
UK
Are they young chicks where you think she should mother them? That won't work.

If not, then you are basically trying to integrate two groups into one flock. Separating the male won't fix that, you'll just end up with 3 groups.

What are the coop/run arrangements? Post pics if you can.
 

One Lucky Momma

Chicken Kisser
Premium Feather Member
Apr 25, 2020
421
1,284
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Madison Co, NC
How old are the new birds? Do these four chickens make up your flock or are there others?

You could have an interesting dynamic developing there - a momma‘s boy/ only child rooster, a protective mother hen and now two young tarts added to the mix.

Can you provide separate but visible arrangements for the two new pullets? I think this would be far less stressful for the mother hen than removing her chick. Allow the birds to familiarize with each other before giving physical access. This could take some time; give them several days and try again.

Good luck!
 

Slaneyrose

Hatching
Sep 25, 2020
4
2
3
How old are the new birds? Do these four chickens make up your flock or are there others?

You could have an interesting dynamic developing there - a momma‘s boy/ only child rooster, a protective mother hen and now two young tarts added to the mix.

Can you provide separate but visible arrangements for the two new pullets? I think this would be far less stressful for the mother hen than removing her chick. Allow the birds to familiarize with each other before giving physical access. This could take some time; give them several days and try again.

Good luck!
How can they get familiarised if they are kept apart? Yes I only have the four, I have a small shed at the end of a large run with 4 nesting boxes of one has a door and a partial side so the new hens can squeeze into the closed off one, but they are so scared, one will fly onto my shoulder and hide in my hair for protection when my older hen goes near her.
 

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LizzzyJo

Songster
Dec 14, 2018
739
1,778
202
Northwest Ohio
I agree that you need to do look don’t touch with the young pullets. You could also consider rehoming the rooster. He’s old enough now to be sold. I personally don’t like seeing a roo mate his mom.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
Nov 27, 2012
85,818
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SW Michigan
My Coop
last week I got 2 more very young pullets
so the new hens
Confused ....how old, in weeks or months, are the new pullets.
I see pretty large birds in your pics.
You only have the one mama, her 8wo cockerel, and the 2 new birds?

Is it because she has a "baby" and should I separate him from her now?
No, it's because there are new birds in her territory.
She should have weaned her cockerel by now.

Think about these tips about.....
Integration Basics:
It's all about territory and resources(space/food/water).
Existing birds will almost always attack new ones to defend their resources.
Understanding chicken behaviors is essential to integrating new birds into your flock.

Confine new birds within sight but physically segregated from older/existing birds for several weeks, so they can see and get used to each other but not physically interact.

In adjacent runs, spread scratch grains along the dividing mesh, best if mesh is just big enough for birds to stick their head thru, so they get used to eating together.

The more space, the better.
Birds will peck to establish dominance, the pecked bird needs space to get away. As long as there's no copious blood drawn and/or new bird is not trapped/pinned down and beaten unmercilessly, let them work it out. Every time you interfere or remove new birds, they'll have to start the pecking order thing all over again.

Multiple feed/water stations. Dominance issues are most often carried out over sustenance, more stations lessens the frequency of that issue.

Places for the new birds to hide 'out of line of sight'(but not a dead end trap) and/or up and away from any bully birds. Roosts, pallets or boards leaned up against walls or up on concrete blocks, old chairs tables, branches, logs, stumps out in the run can really help. Lots of diversion and places to 'hide' instead of bare wide open run.
Good ideas for hiding places:
https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/a-cluttered-run.1323792/
 

Slaneyrose

Hatching
Sep 25, 2020
4
2
3
I agree that you need to do look don’t touch with the young pullets. You could also consider rehoming the rooster. He’s old enough now to be sold. I personally don’t like seeing a roo mate his mom.
He's not hers biologically, she only hatched the egg, didn't lay it.
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
Feb 2, 2009
25,913
16,226
797
Southeast Louisiana
So you have one mature broody hen who is still mothering an 8 week old cockerel, and two "very young" pullets of unknown age. It really would help to know the age of those "very young" pullets.

It's not unusual for a broody hen to continue mothering her chicks for more than 8 weeks. I've had broody hens wean their chicks anywhere from 3 weeks to 9, some people I trust on here say they've had hens go much longer than 9 weeks. With living animals you don't get guarantees with behaviors. It doesn't matter if she laid the egg the chick hatched from or not. She considers herself the mother and that chick hers.

A broody hen will protect her chicks from other flock members. It's quite possible she attacks them because she sees them as a threat to her baby. I see that a lot.

Even if she has weaned it a mature hens might attack immature chickens if they invade her personal space. Broody has nothing to do with that.

I'm not sure what is going on so I'll do a lot of "if's". If she only attacks them when they get close to her or her baby and leaves them alone otherwise. I'd leave them alone. They should quickly learn to stay away from her and the cockerel. You may have more problems at night, they may have problems sleeping in that coop together. You may need to fix a predator safe place for the pullets to sleep either in the coop or in the run.

If she won't leave them alone during the day, rig up a predator safe place for the pullets where they can see each other across wire. Leave the pullets locked in there for a week or two. Then try letting them out during the day when you can observe. See how they all react. Base your next actions on what you see.

You have a bit of a complicated mess. When that hen weans the cockerel she probably will not want anything to do with him, though she might let him hang around peacefully. He may try to join those two pullets, he may not. The pullets may be OK with him or they may not. Chickens are social animals and like to be with other chickens. But more mature chickens outrank less mature chickens in the pecking order and are often not shy about enforcing those pecking order rights, especially when their private space is invaded. Also, in another month or more likely two, that cockerel will probably enter puberty. His hormones might drive him bonkers, he may get quite aggressive toward those pullets or even the hen. Sometimes this isn't nearly as bad as I make it sound, sometimes it is worse. I've never been through this with just four chickens where you have two of them such different ages.

I don't know what will happen, no one does. But I'd get busy building something where I could isolate one or two of them on a moments notice. Hopefully you won't need it but I'd be ready.
 

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