In the Brooder
- Apr 27, 2014
In short, I got my first flock last year, all chicks I raised up. I had one rooster and planned to hatch eggs this year if I had a broody. Unfortunately it became necessary to rehome my Roo before I had a broody, so I incubated eggs while I still had access to his fertile eggs...I wanted to see some of my first roo's babies. Anywho, half way through incubation one of my hens went broody. I let her sit on eggs until hatch, and a few days ago was able to slip a few chicks under her. Asking on other forums, researching, and hoping I made a best choice...I decided to let her raise them on the coop floor for easier transition later. She is in half of a large size dog crate, which I made open just yesterday for her to take the babies out when she felt ready. To my surprise, she took the 2 day old baby chicks out to the run with the rest of my hens. The babies tended to wander a few feet from Momma and got pecked a couple times. Later when I knew it was roosting time I went out to make sure they made it up the ramp to the coop. Momma was inside calling them but they were left in the run by themselves. Not knowing what the other hens might do I rushedbin and scooped them up, exited the run and went to the man door of the coop to replace them to the dog crate just as a very unhappy Momma was coming at me. My anxiety is through the roof! Lol. I've never had a Momma hen, so I don't know what is "good Momma" and "bad Momma" behavior. I don't know if I overstepped my boundaries or if she is neglectful. Not being in this situation before, I've read barred rocks aren't always good mothers, and she's a first time Momma...I just don't have full trust in the situation yet and don't want anything to happen to my little babies. So...that wasn't short, sorry. What can I look for as good/bad momma behaviors? Do I need to be concerned about the other hens hurting my babies?