broody hen scaring young birds

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by smallcitychick, May 25, 2011.

  1. smallcitychick

    smallcitychick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a broody hen (large cochin) that just hatched out 8 babies. I have them in a smaller coop with attached covered run. I also have 7 (7 week old) young chickens in there (3 bantams, a polish, rir, gold sex link, and slw) There's plenty of room for all right now BUT the momma is totally freaking out my 7 week olds. She was up in the coop (about 3 feet off the ground) with all her babies and I put water and food up there for her so the babies didn't have to risk the ramp to the ground. The momma only came out of the coop once or twice a day to chase the 7 weekers around and then went back up to her babies. Well, yesterday she decided she would rather raise them on the ground. She pushed them all down the ramp and has them down there now. The 7 weekers all huddle in a corner by the run door and don't move all day. They're right next to the water, but it's like they're terrified that the babies will wander too close to them and the momma will chase them. Last night I put them all up in the coop (with the food and water still up there) and they staid up there for about an hour before they came down to huddle in the corner again. Last night I checked on them and they all wandered up to the coop (with 2 bantams roosting even!) So I figured they would stay up there. Nope. Today they're back on the ground huddled in a corner with the momma and her chicks claiming about 7/8th of the run. They're by the water, but the momma isn't letting them get to the food. [​IMG] There's really not enough room with the ramp, waterer, and feeder to add another feeder on the ground close to the corner where the 7 weekers huddle. I just went and shooed them all up into the coop again, made sure they had food and water, and they're still up there. Any ideas that can help this clan get along?

    I currently only have the one coop/run. I have 4 adult hens that free range (I had to kick them out of the coop when momma went broody because they were beating up on the broody. I did try to move the broody to large dog kennel with a nest and eggs, same bedding, etc....and she would not have it at all, so it just worked better to let the adults free range and leave the momma in the coop, then I moved the young chicks out to the coop (from the garage brooder) when they were fully feathered). I should have a second coop/tractor done this week. My plan had been to put the 4 adults in there and keep the coop/run the way it is. But with the development I'm not sure what to do. I tried introducing just one adult hen into the coop yesterday hoping that the momma would defend her babies (and not get picked on) and then put the 7 weekers in the new tractor and introduce the adults back into the coop/run one at a time. Nope, momma was beat up on by the adult hen anyway. She just sat there (on her babies) while the adult hen squawked at her and pulled out feathers. [​IMG]

    Any suggestions on how to work this out? I guess I could try moving momma and babies to the large dog kennel now, but they'll outgrow that quickly.
     
  2. kannna

    kannna Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Perhaps you could make a space that the young ones can fit into, but not the mom, and put thier food there. I have a broody that was eating the grower to intimidate the youngins. I have a space under the downstairs nest box that she can't reach, but the younging have no problem. I put thier food there. They might decide to hide under there too. It's a safety zone until the mom adjusts.
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2011
  3. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Overrun With Chickens

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    If it were me I would either remove mama and her brood or the 7 week olds. Your broody sees the other chicks as intruders and a threat to her babies. I know my broody is brutal to my other adult chickens, I can only imagine what she would do to a group of youngsters. If you leave them all together she may adjust. Or your 7 week olds could starve to death or be attacked and killed. Not trying to sound harsh, just my $0.02. Good luck!
     
  4. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

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    open the gate and let them all free range. the 7 weeks are old enough, and with more space, you will have less issues, I would even let mama and the babies out. More space will solve all your problems. Then put some different feed bowls out there, and different waters. And by the end of summer, everyone will be fine.

    MrsK
     
  5. smallcitychick

    smallcitychick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 23, 2010
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    thanks everyone. Today I let the 7 weekers and the the adults out together (left momma and the babies in the enclosed run/coop, it's rainy and cold today and for the rest of the week and I'm too nervous that one of the babies will wander off or one of the neighborhood cats or strays will come calling) So far the adults aren't too concerned about the 7 weekers except for one cochin that seems to need to make it known that she doesn't like them I think she's the lowest in the pecking order of the adult hens, so maybe that's why, the others aren't feeling threatened at all. We'll see how it goes.
     
  6. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

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    that is what your mama hen is for, to keep them rounded up and protected!
     

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