Broody Hen Issues

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by ChickenLayD, Feb 18, 2017.

  1. ChickenLayD

    ChickenLayD Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 9, 2016
    My silkie hen had been sitting on a clutch of eggs for quite some time. Only one ended up hatching out about three days ago. I was just able to get to the farm store today where I bought four more. I slipped them underneath the mama and all was well until one of the new chicks came into her sight (different color than the chick she already had). She stared at the baby for a few seconds, growling, and then pecked her. I picked the baby up and put her back underneath the hen. She is sitting nice and wide, keeping them all warm and not trying to harm them while they are under her. Has this happened to anyone else? Should I leave them under her and hope she takes to them? Any tips/advice? Thank you!
     
  2. chickens really

    chickens really Overrun With Chickens

    I have two Broody Hens with Chicks....The more you interfere and look at them the worse it will look to you...She pecks the chicks to get them away from you!!
    Walk away and let Mom Hen be Mom!........

    Cheers!
     
  3. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

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    I don't think she rejected it from color. I don't know if chickens have a sense of smell but, something about it tipped her off. I would keep both eyes & ears open in case she tries to attack it again. If so you will have to get an incubator and raise it yourself.
     
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  4. ChickenLayD

    ChickenLayD Out Of The Brooder

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    . If she does it to get them away from me then why doesn't she do that with the one she hatched out herself? We hold that one and she seems fine.
     
  5. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Imprinting is the issue here. And it is based on sound. Hen does not recognize new chicks based on sound. You need to force imprinting process. Simply leaving hen alone with chicks she is not imprinted on can be disastrous for chicks. Her chick she is imprinted on as that process started just prior to hatch. Hen and new chicks need to be in close proximity to each other where they can hear each others voices. Overnight is a start but may take additional days as well. Be prepared to keep partition between hen and new chicks. I would also put original chick in with new.
     
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  6. ChickenLayD

    ChickenLayD Out Of The Brooder

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    That makes a lot of sense! I did leave them under her for the night. I will move them this morning before they start walking around. Thank you!
     
  7. ChickenLayD

    ChickenLayD Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 9, 2016
    As I was typing my last message, I started to hear them peeping and moving about. I walked over and she was doing okay with them. Then, I noticed her growling a bit when one of the barred rocks got close to her face. I know I probably shouldn't have interfered but I gave in and picked the barred rock baby up. My broody continued to growl, so I put the baby back down. Then, she pecked the baby. Now she is letting the baby eat in front of her, growling every now and then, but also letting the baby climb in her, and peck stuff off of her face, even though it's making her growl! This is the strangest behavior I've come across in owning chickens..
     
  8. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    The growling yet tolerating means she is still conflicted. Having her riled by disturbance can make her more likely to peck chicks she is not fully imprinted on. Once at point you describe you are likely less than a day away from hen fully accepting new chicks. Avoid letting move about much until she stops growling. Also some growling can be where she is warning you to stay away and chicks to be quite.
     
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  9. ChickenLayD

    ChickenLayD Out Of The Brooder

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    She is not growling anymore! She's calling them over to eat and snuggling them in. Thank you. You have been most helpful.
     

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