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Hawk just killed mother hen.

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by willem82, Sep 4, 2014.

  1. willem82

    willem82 New Egg

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    Mar 31, 2011
    This morning we had 5 hens, a rooster and 5 one-month old chicks. One of the hens had raised the chicks from eggs. They all free range during the day and are in the coop at night. The hen and chicks always hung out together, and the others hung out together. Now mamma was just killed by a hawk. Should I move the chicks into a separate area in the garage, or try and push them on the other group.
    They have all been sleeping in the coop at night, but the chicks and mother hen had their own area. I could keep the chicks in that same area to keep them separated, or keep them contained in the garage, or throw them in with the others. None of the other hens has ever been aggressive to the chicks. Don't even really seem interested in them.
    Anyone had experience with this situation?
     
  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    I have had mother hens who have abandoned their chicks at 2 and 3 weeks of age, and they have done very well if there are several to keep each other warm at night and have company. Since they were raised with the flock, they should be part of it. Now, they will get pecked some by the others which is normal. Just keep an eye on them, especially at dusk to make sure they get inside the coop. You could also see that they can get some extra food by putting some inside a barrier that only they can get into. I would really give them a chance to remain with their flock so that you won't have to re-integrate them. Good luck.
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2014
  3. willem82

    willem82 New Egg

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    Mar 31, 2011
    Thanks for the response. That makes good sense. Tonight I was pleased to see the chicks make their way into the pen on their own. They have their own area with food and water. I think I'll keep them penned up tomorrow as the hawk is still hanging around.
     

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