EE hen behavior around 5 week old chicks

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Fletch83, May 11, 2016.

  1. Fletch83

    Fletch83 Chirping

    Jan 27, 2013
    Hi all!

    So I have three new, five-week-old chicks who have been kicked out of the brooder and are now in the nursery coop next to the big chicken coop so that they can all see each other and get used to each other. For the most part, the adult hens are not paying them any attention at all. I have been trying to handle the new chicks consistently but they still scream bloody murder every time I pick them up. Every time I do this and they start screeching really loudly, my EE hen comes barreling across the yard at me all puffed up and clucking away. Is she trying to tell me off for upsetting the chicks, or is she displaying potentially aggressive behavior towards the chicks themselves?

  2. CascadiaRiver

    CascadiaRiver Songster

    Dec 12, 2014
    Pacific Northwest
    I think she is telling you off for upsetting the babies ^^
  3. Sounds like the EE Hen is responding to distress sounds of the chicks and sees you as a threat...

    Let me make a suggestion:

    With the chicks making noise when you try to hold them, they are not used to being held, touched and handled. Start off slow, bring a treat and get them to eat from your hand. Cook some rice, and feed it to them by hand. As they eat, make a point of touching each one. They may reply, but they will mostly be focused on FOOD. I also give my birds Sour Cream, once in a while because of its great bacteria culture for their little digestive systems.

    I train my girls to come when called. I start this when they are chicks in the brooder, by bringing them treats and feeding them by hand. When I enter the room I say, "Bok, Bok, Bok" and the body language of the chicks completely changes when I do adult birds come running, but my chicks jump and dance...They get very excited to see you, and that's a nice feeling.

    In a week or so you should be able to handle the chicks with few complaints...those that do complain should quickly settle down.
    Last edited: May 11, 2016

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