Broody Mama went CRAZY protecting chicks


10 Years
Dec 28, 2009
Bellingham Wa
My Olivia was let out of broody coop to free range w/ her 4 babies. SOMEHOW the big girls run door flew open A N D all H_ll broke lose' She(Olivia) was whamping on everyone. The babies were screaming and running all over... Earl our roo was absolutely paralyzed w/ fear and I was also screaming for help as I stuffed 2 chicks in my pockets and chased the other two. Needless to say NO ONE heard me, and Olivia went after one hen and then another. She had been chest bumping through the shared fence for several days but there was feathers flying now. Somehow I got her back into the broody pen and captured all the babies. What an experience... Do all broodies do this? Her last clutch she left when they were feathered, then I inter-graded the house chicks into the pen... all about the same age. Is this new behavior because the babies were littler?
That would be my suspicion.

I never segregated my two broody hens and their chicks; they brought them out into the yard with everybody when they were between three and nine days old. And everybody else knew to stay away from those babies, except for the daddy roo. He checked 'em out whilst the mommas fluffed up a little, but never harmed them at all. He assisted the hens by maintaining security over the roving Mom & Chicks maneuvers. But Carl is an exemplary rooster.
yes, mothers much more reactive the younger chicks are. usually more willing to fight harder, freak out much easier, etc.. varies a bit individually, some new mothers turn into "invincible warriors"- beating up anything that so much dares to look at the chicks or come less than 10 feet(this can include any humans), others turn into "sky is falling"- squawking and screeching up a horrible storm, scaring everything including her own babies and running all over the place. it tapers off as the chicks grow.
Kev... You nailed it. She was a warrior-est . I could hardly believe the rucks . After about 40 mins, I put them back in the broody pen. I couldn't handle the stress
Then I had the bright idea of putting the hatchery EEer's (the same hatch day) in the broody pen with Olivia and her 4 babies. Kind of did the pecking order thing... the outdoor chicks won. The EEer's hid by my feet. I'll give it another week or so. There is no need to rush it. I don't want anyone to get picked on.
My broody wanted to KILL me for the first few weeks. Now that thebabies have feathers and I let everyone out to free range together, she could almost care less. She showed them around a bit, then left them to go hang out with her sister and the roo. She also laid an egg today, so I guess she's over being a mom.

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