Friendly hen turning nasty towards her chicks

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by kpborkowski, Nov 14, 2008.

  1. kpborkowski

    kpborkowski In the Brooder

    Jun 12, 2008
    Chelsea (Vic), Australia
    Our pekin bantam has just sucessfully hatched out and raised 5 sussex chicks. The chicks are now 6 weeks old and Rosie has suddenly decided that she doesn't want to be mum anymore - gee sometimes I feel like that too [​IMG]

    After doing such a wonderful job at looking after the babies until now she has suddenly turned really nasty towards them. She deliberately goes out of her way to attack them, and has even pecked me once or twice (she has never done this before).

    Rosie was definately our friendliest hen. Our children could quite easily pick her up several times a day and she would never ever peck at us or any of our other chooks, why is she suddenly turning into the devil hen?

    She just laid her first egg again yesterday after a long break, could it be hormonal? Do you think she will settle down and go back to her old sweet self?
  2. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast

    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    Maybe she won't.

    Don't let her get too hard on the chicks. She may have to be separated from them for a bit until she gets over this period of her life.

    Good luck.
  3. Frizzledhen

    Frizzledhen Spear Gunnin' Coons

    Feb 17, 2007
    Rosie is just telling her chicks it is time to grow up and get out on their own. Very normal behavior. Rosie is ready to start being a chicken again and is through being a ma hen.
  4. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Crowing

    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    Her behavior is normal. Her broodiness has turned off so to speak. She is done with those chicks. She will not have a maternal instinct toward them. In a few more weeks she won't even remember she hatched them and they will just be other chickens in the pecking order.
  5. lyndatu

    lyndatu Songster

    Nov 13, 2007
    It also happened to my native hen Jessica. She became broody for about a month, but then suddenly it's like she doesn't know them anymore at all and when she meets her chick, "Do I know you?" *Peck*

    I agree with the others - henny is now done and it's time for the chicks to be on their own! [​IMG] Good luck!
  6. swtangel321

    swtangel321 ~Crazy Egg Lady~

    Jul 11, 2008
    Very normal, but a little sad at the same time. My silkies will mother her chicks for about 8ish weeks ( i know forever ) and then will start being mean mama hen, the chicks act/look so sad when she wont them sleep with her anymore, and they just keep trying !!
  7. Red

    Red Songster

    Mar 17, 2007
    When our LS hatched out her three chicks (HUGE BO chicks!) she had them sleeping under her wing until they were 10 weeks old - they were massive!! She'd even started laying by then and made them wait outside the nest box until she had laid her egg every day [​IMG] But then it suddenly changed and she didn't want to be a 'mum' to them anymore...the chicks were sad, but then they adopted me as mum instead [​IMG]

    I put Milly (mother hen) back in with the other adult chickens, and left the three BO chicks separated until they were fully grown. That seemed to work fine [​IMG]

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