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Baby chick is picking on older hen

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by amateureggs, Apr 11, 2016.

  1. amateureggs

    amateureggs Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 8, 2016
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    I have 5, 8 week old chicks and just 2 older hens. The more dominant hen is broody right now so I thought, hey great time to introduce the chicks. I've been bringing the babies outside for about an hour a day for the last week. I'm letting the older hen get just a little closer each day, no incident yet so today I kinda just stood back to see what would happen. The hen went right up to the chicks and was super gentle, she was trying to chase bugs with them and just hang out. Then one of the chicks (rhode island red) went up to her,raised all her feathers and tried to peck her. She just turned around and walked off. I feel really bad for my hen because her best friend died 2 weeks ago and now that my other bird is broody she just sits around by herself. How can I help her become part of the chick family?? The other chicks were very welcoming, didn't seem to mind her presence at all. Any suggestions would be great.
     
  2. TheTwoRoos

    TheTwoRoos Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Its a baby chick, he isnt hurting her,and trust me seems to ne your more worried then her....
     
  3. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Overrun With Chickens

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    Sounds like that chick could possibly be a little cockerel. If that hen had been irritated, she'd have let him know. Chicken society is way different than human society. They'll work it out.
     
  4. amateureggs

    amateureggs Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 8, 2016
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    I wondered if it is a male as well. He/she also charged our dog when she walked passed the chicks. How can I tell at 8 weeks old if I have a little rooster on my hands?
     
  5. amateureggs

    amateureggs Out Of The Brooder

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    [​IMG]
    I don't know if the pic will help sex the chick, but maybe.
     
  6. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Overrun With Chickens

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    I can't really see from the picture. How does it look compared to the other ones? Is the comb bigger? How about the wattles? Another thing to look at is the feathers around the base of the neck. Are they rounded, or pointy? Pointy ones indicate a rooster. How about the tail? Any long, curling feathers yet? How about long, shiny black/green feathers? Is the tail longer than the other birds' tails? Is it bigger than the other chicks? I have 30 two-week old chickens, and I think I have 3 cockerels pegged already, just based on their size and the comb growth compared to the others. It will be fun to see if I'm right.
     
  7. TheTwoRoos

    TheTwoRoos Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Looks like a young cock from what I see.
     
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    What did he look like at 5-6 weeks, how red/large were his comb and wattles compared to the other chicks?
    That's my go to for gender ID.
    The pointy saddle and hackle feathers won't start coming in until about 12-16 weeks.

    Don't worry about him 'attacking' the hen, she probably just scoffed as she walked away-knowing he was just a baby still.
    She'll kick his butt eventually, show him his place.
     
  9. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Overrun With Chickens

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    Aart - thanks for pointing out when the hackle feathers come in. I've (obviously) never paid attention. I can usually tell by observing size and comb/wattle development compared to the other chicks.
     
  10. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    I make my guesses at 5-6 weeks by comb and/or wattle color and growth....then wait until 3-4 months for affirmation, or to celebrate happy mis-guesses.
     

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