Hen and chicks

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by homestead 101, Jul 4, 2016.

  1. homestead 101

    homestead 101 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have just done a very risky thing. I opened my broody hen cage and let her and the chicks out with the main flock. They are doing great. When ever another flock member comes by, the mother hen jumps on them and pecks at them, they dare not come any where near. Tell me if I doing this wrong. Share stories. And please give me any advice you may have for me
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    Sounds perfectly normal. I always let my broody hens raise the chicks with the flock. Have not lost one to another adult yet.
     
  3. crash0330

    crash0330 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Most broody hens are super protective of their young against other hens, however I've had some rather nasty little serema rooster who would kill the little chicks. So As long as you see them interact and you see that everything is fine then just let her hang out with the rest, that way the older hens become familiarized with the chicks and the chicks will learn to stay out of the adults way.
     
  4. triplepurpose

    triplepurpose Chillin' With My Peeps

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    the mothers place in the pecking order plays a big role. but if youve got a high-ranking hen who will stick up for her chicks, and a rooster who will accept them or at least not attack them, it can go just fine. i used to have a real cool roo that would quickly adopt new chicks and help look out for them. the biggest problem i see tho is when the madness of feeding time takes hold and i have chicks getting trampled, and general chaos. for that reason i usually keep them separate until they are old enough to hold there own a little better. it just makes things easier. but they still get to bond thru the fence even while separated.
     
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    Just wondering, how old were the chicks when that serama killed them? Was he the dominant rooster? How old was he?

    I know we are dealing with living animals so anything can happen, but I’ve never had a dominant mature rooster attack chicks or threaten to harm young chicks. Sometimes the dominant rooster will help Mam take care of the chicks, not always, but as long as they are young when introduced my dominant roosters always accept them. If the chicks are older, especially with cockerels, where he sees them as strangers instead of his chicks it can be different. I have had immature cockerels go after chicks but my broody hens have always been able to handle that. I have no doubt with all the flocks and roosters out there someone has had a dominant mature rooster do that, but I’m just interested in what happened with yours.

    The OP wanted stories. I have more time this morning so I’ll tell a couple.

    I had a hen that was not very bright. She went broody and hatched and raised her chicks, but she was always getting into trouble. One of her favorite tricks was to go out of a gate and make a sharp turn, leaving most of her chicks behind. So the chicks would try to get to her through the fence instead of going to the gate but the openings in the fence were too small. That hen could not figure out to go back to the gate and collect her chicks either. She’d just pace the fence, calling them. I’ve had other broodies do that in rare occasions but this hen did it regularly, usually a few times a day. She did some other dumb stuff too.

    When this happened the dominant flock rooster would hear the chicks chirping and come check it out as a good flock master should. He would stay with the chicks until the hen finally managed to reunite her family. One time this happened he gave her a look that was plain as day. “Not again, Woman”.

    Something I regularly see. At about two weeks of age the chicks get more adventurous. I often see a chick this age leave Mama’s protection and go stand next to the other hens at the feeder, eating next to them. Sometimes the other hens ignore the chick for quite a time, but usually it doesn’t take long for a hen to peck the chick, reminding it that it is bad chicken etiquette for it to eat with its betters. That chick goes running back to Mama as fast as its little legs can pump, flapping its wind and frantically chirping. Mama generally ignores all this. It takes a flock to raise a chick and that chick should have just learned a lesson. Occasionally the hen will follow the chick to further the lesson. This is when Mama whips butt. No one threatens her chicks.
     
  6. crash0330

    crash0330 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The Serema mom hatched the chicks in the coop along with that Serema rooster, the first time it happened the hen hatched 6 chicks 2 days after they hatched I found 3 dead chicks with blood on their head, I just thought one of the big lizards we got running around here had got him, but I wondered why it would've just killed him and not eat him. Well after that I added some extra 1/2" hardware wire so that the lizards wouldn't be able to come in. But next day I found the rest of the chicks dead, same scenario, bloody heads and sort of pecked at body. I sort of suspected of the rooster but I checked him and he didn't have any sort of blood on him so I didn't think about it again.
    He's always being sort of a nasty little rooster though, he attacks people and has no respect, although I have never seen him attack his hens or anything. Wel second time around when the hen hatched out some chicks I actually caught him on the act, he was killing one little chick and so I removed him, and the rest of the second batch of chicks survided, however his offspring does the same thing they all kill their offspring, I would get rid of them but I'm watching this chickens for my dad and he'd be very mad if I get rid of them, the best I can do is just don't let them hatch any of their offspring.
     
  7. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    Thanks for that info. You are right, he does not need to have any more chicks hatch. Nor do his offspring, male or female.
     

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