Family troubles - what's up with the mama?

Deezuhl

Hatching
Oct 16, 2015
4
0
7
Hi all,

We have had a lot of changes in our coop over the last 5 months. We had one broody hen named PekPek that we introduced 4 day old chicks to, and she adopted them at the end of August. 3 of the chicks ended up being roosters. So she now has one of the originals (Tikka) that is almost 20 weeks old. We introduced 2 new coop ready chicks to replace the roosters that are around 10 - 12 weeks old. They were separated at first, and now they are all assimilated. The pecking order has been established.

PekPek does not like the 2 new chicks. Generally PekPek and Tikka do everything together and the 2 chicks do everything together. PekPek pecks more at the chicks than the Tikka. The chicks are old enough to handle it and hide as needed, but they are definitely scared of her and avoid her as much as possible.

The chicks were on a separate roost at night starting a week ago. This week, they jumped up to share the same roost with PekPek and Tikka. PekPek was making lots of noises and looked uncomfortable, but she stayed for the first night. For the past 2 nights, Tikka has been snuggling with the chicks on the roost and PekPek has confined herself to the nesting box.

Should I block the nesting box? PekPek hasn't laid eggs since she went broody, so we are definitely ready for someone to start! However since they are all mixed ages everyone is still eating the grower feed as it's too difficult to separate their food. Is she super upset about the chicks or getting ready to lay again or is something else happening?

Any help is much appreciated!

Thanks,

Diana
 
Last edited:

oldhenlikesdogs

Grateful
BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Jul 16, 2015
45,452
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Wisconsin
That's all pretty normal, the young ones are bonding and mom is probably trying to distance herself a little, I would make sure she's not looking sick, otherwise you could block the nest off, or just move her back to the roosts at dusk can work too for a few nights.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
96,352
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I would block the nests or remove pekpek from them after dark.
Bad habit.
....or is she maybe going broody again?
.....is she molting?
Would explain the no eggs and seeking the comfort of the nest as new feathers growing in can be uncomfortable.

What is your climate?
 

Deezuhl

Hatching
Oct 16, 2015
4
0
7
I'm in the SF Bay Area where it's been rainy for months now and cold for us, as low as 30s but generally more in the 40s-50s.
She does seem a bit broody to me... I pushed her out of her nesting box this morning when she wouldn't get out. But she hasn't laid eggs in 6 months!
 

amyschickens1

In the Brooder
Oct 31, 2015
59
4
39
Scotland
my broody hen once she is taken away from her chicks she neither sees them again because she would probley kill them I separate my chicks from mum when they are 5 weeks then if I keep any I put them back with her when they are 28 weeks old because then they can stand up for themselves
 

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