Help!! Mama being attacked!

Cryss

Eggcentric
Nov 12, 2017
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I’ve opened the run gate between the main flock and the the mama and chicks side. Chicks are 6 weeks old today. Mama was immediately attacked by a hen and soon joined by another. We’ve broken up fights because it looks like more than pecking. No one is attacking the chicks. We’ve been sitting with them for 90 minutes. Mama can’t venture out without being attacked. The flock has been venturing into the chick run but mama hides behind the coop.
What I don’t get is why are they so nasty when mama( Doris) has been in their visual are just on the other side of chicken wire?
 

DobieLover

Easily distracted by chickens
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Jul 23, 2018
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Just curious: why did you isolate her in the first place?
I've never fully isolated a broody and they've all done fine bringing their chicks into the flock at anywhere from 2 days to 2 weeks old. I have a mixed breed flock with 2 roosters that has ranged in size from 25 to 30 adults when chicks were brought into it. But I do have copious amounts of space (1/3 acre) and lots of things in the space for the birds.
Where did she rank in the pecking order before going broody?
At this point I would treat her like a single bird initial integration and get lots of clutter into your set up for her to hide behind.
Put out multiple locations for feed. I feed fermented Flock Raiser crumbles that I spread around the run on flat stones so there is feed literally all over the place for the flock to go to. You can do the same with just a wet mash. That will help make sure she gets some food and water.
 

CluckerFamily

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Feb 14, 2016
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Because she didn’t hatch/start raising the chicks within the flock, you need to do the see but no touch integration for at least 2 weeks where mama and babies are within the flock, not in a different coop or fenced in area.
 

Cryss

Eggcentric
Nov 12, 2017
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Doris was midrange or above on the pecking order. This is my first time experiencing hatching of any kind. I knew ( or supposed?) she wouldn’t be able to let her use a coop nest because there’s only 3 for 13 hens. The separated run has a small prefab coop that I had used for a bachelor pad for a bit and also as a see-no-touch introduction pen. I figured it was a nice private place to not be disturbed while brooding her first clutch. In retrospect perhaps I shouldn’t have closed the gate and allowed interaction. I did take a 10 minute video of the very beginning. I could post it here if it would help. I believed it to be too violent. Mama hid. Yes there is a lot of distracting things in the run, 3 feeders, 3 waterer, a tire, a chair, a lean-to, a flat wire covered garden for nibbles along with a fenced garden.
 

Cryss

Eggcentric
Nov 12, 2017
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Northwest New Jersey
Because she didn’t hatch/start raising the chicks within the flock, you need to do the see but no touch integration for at least 2 weeks where mama and babies are within the flock, not in a different coop or fenced in area.
How do you do see-no-touch without separating?? Within the flock??

All that separated them was wire. Here’s babies on one side, and you see a flock member on the other side. Mama is on babies side.
413D2CEC-E545-47C6-8595-2B45385361B6.jpeg
 

Cryss

Eggcentric
Nov 12, 2017
4,852
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Northwest New Jersey
We gave mama and babies a bit of time in the small run to chill out. Then we opened the gate again. Doris mostly hid so she wasn’t getting attacked. Babies were fine. Shortly before bedtime Doris went into the main coop without babies. After a bit she came out and hung out with the babies. When the adults went to bed finally we encouraged Doris to go in and then encouraged babies to join her. A lot of peeping ensued “ Where am I? What is this place? What’s going on way up here with all the adults?” Not sure where everyone slept but it quieted down and in the morning everyone came out through the pop door none the worse for wear. Aunt Edna went after Doris in the afternoon inside the coop. Other than that it’s been peaceful. We’ve locked them all out of the baby area to encourage intermingling as much as they will allow. The adults generally congregate away from babies, and that’s ok.
 

Swbertrand1

Crowing
Apr 21, 2018
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We've found that if we separate a broody hen with eggs (and eventually chicks) that letting them mix in non-enclosed environment for a few hours each afternoon/evening works well. In other words, they stay separated and mostly out of sight of the main flock for most of the day and all night, but are free to mix it up in the final 3 hours or so before dusk.

The flock recognizes the mother hen daily, and she protects the chicks from the flock as needed. In only once circumstance did this not work, but it was a short-lived issue.
 

Cryss

Eggcentric
Nov 12, 2017
4,852
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Northwest New Jersey
Good idea. This is my first hatching experience so I’ve learned a lot. Next time around I’ll be a bit more prepared. Thank you and everyone else.
 

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