hen all of a sudden rejecting 3 of her 12 chicks - they are 4 weeks o

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by LLBA, Jun 21, 2011.

  1. LLBA

    LLBA New Egg

    Oct 3, 2008
    Hi All,
    My mother Japanese Bantam x English Bantam has all of a sudden started chasing off 3 of her own chicks. They are only 4 weeks old. She is protecting the other 9. What gives? They have plenty of room, plenty of food, etc. I can't tell if the rejected chicks are males - I thought maybe that was it?

    I'm thinking I should take those 3 out of the pin (it's large - about 20 x 20 feet) so she will stop attacking them. However, I don't really have a protected place for them.

    Any suggestions would be appreciated!
  2. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Broody hens usually begin rejecting the chicks between 4-8 weeks old; that is normal. Why she is rejecting some and not others, I don't know, but eventually, she will reject the rest so best to prepare a place to finish brooding them.
  3. sgtmom52

    sgtmom52 Birds & Bees

    I have 3 hens that co-hatched and raised 12 chicks. At 4 weeks all three of the hens went back to sleeping on the roosts leaving the babies to sleep on the floor. The hens also all started laying again a few days later. During the day they will still cluck for the babies if they find something good, but mostly the babies are on their own and don't even hang around the mommas much anymore ~ they are about 5 1/2 weeks old now.
  4. gale65

    gale65 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:Do they still need a brooder after 4 weeks?
  5. LLBA

    LLBA New Egg

    Oct 3, 2008
    Thank you all so much. I really appreciate the quick response!!!
  6. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Quote:Do they still need a brooder after 4 weeks?

    Well, they need a place away from adults who may try to kill them and where they can eat the proper feed for their age, not necessarily a brooder. Much depends on night temps where you are, etc, as to whether they'll need supplemental heat at night.
  7. BlackBrookPoultry

    BlackBrookPoultry Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 15, 2010
    Western Wisconsin
    I just had a black orpington stop taking care of her chicks at about 4 weeks, I thought she was just a bad mother. My Cochin took care of her chicks till they were bigger than her. She was the best.
  8. Hangin Wit My Peeps

    Hangin Wit My Peeps AutumnBreezeChickens.com

    Apr 20, 2008
    Birnamwood, Wisconsin
    My cochin hen did the same thing Blackbrook. It must be the breed [​IMG] They are now all adults and the mother still clucks for them to come eat goodies [​IMG]
  9. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Hens are just different from each other. One of my blue Orps will literally try to kill hers when she's done with them, could be at 3 weeks or 5 weeks, you just never know, but I have to watch for it and rescue them. My breeder quality Buff Orp, Nugget, keeps hers for many weeks, 12-15 usually. In general, though, most hens start pushing them away between 4-8 weeks of age.
  10. PetRock

    PetRock Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 28, 2010
    SF Bay Area, CA
    We had our top hen a Black Australorp go broody this spring. She sat for 2 1/2 weeks on a wooden egg. We have no rooster so no fertile eggs for her to hatch. We finally decided to slip three 1 day old chicks under her at night. It was a success and Precious was an excellent mama! She protected them, taught them how to forage, and integrated them into the flock of 6 other 1 year old hens. Then when they turned 4 weeks almost to the day, she cut them loose. She started laying eggs and roosting with the flock. She didn't want anything to do with them and even chased and pecked them. Poor babies didn't know what was happening! We already had 9 teenager chicks still in the brooder so we began shuffling them around to see what would work for everyone. We ended up letting the babies free range under supervision, spend part of their time in a new outdoor brooder, and sleep in a dog kennel in the coop with the big girls. All 3 groups are now free ranging together with only an occasional peck. Tonight will be the first night for the teenagers to be in the coop without a protection barrier but the babies are only 6 weeks old so they will stay in the kennel at nights for a few more weeks. We have all of them on Flock Raiser with oyster shell on the side for the layers.

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