Hen giving up on chicks already?---

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by chickenwoods, Jun 10, 2008.

  1. chickenwoods

    chickenwoods Songster

    Apr 29, 2007
    Hen set on eggs and is raising chicks now,chicks are 2 weeks old.Hen just started pecking all her chicks on the back OFTEN.. 2 chicks are bleeding..

    I seperated them.Hen still acts broody all ruffled up walking around real skiddish and making deep clucks. and trying to call her chicks over to the feed she finds.but she just keeps pecking them every time one comes over to her.

    At about what age do most hens try to get thier offspring off their backs lol.
  2. chickenannie

    chickenannie Songster

    Nov 19, 2007
    That is unusual. Typically a hen would do that if the chicks were not hers. Is there any possibility that they are from another hen's brood?

    Are the chicks different colors? The hen may decide that a "different" colored chick is not hers. I tried to get a hen to adopt new, same-age chicks as hers, and she did fine except she pecked at the 3 dark colored ones (2 were pecked to death, one I saved/removed from her and he's doing fine).

    Third scenario is that she's just a bad mother and you may have to raise them by hand in a brooder yourself..

    Hope this helps.
  3. Matt A NC

    Matt A NC Crowing

    Feb 22, 2007
    Morganton, NC
    When a hen is ready to leave the chicks she will start pecking them, but I have never had one peck hard enough to actually hurt the chick. Also the hen stops clucking before leaving the chicks.

    It sounds like the hen is not a good mother. I would keep the chicks away from her and raise them by hand.

    NEVER let that hen set again.

  4. soctippy

    soctippy In the Brooder

    Dec 22, 2007
    Yea, it sound like she is realizing what motherhood takes and dosent like it. Some hens are just not good mothers. luckly chicks don't need their mom if they have you! just raise them like any other chicks you get from a hachery, they will do fine. As for the hen, she will get over the loss of the chicks in time.
  5. chickenwoods

    chickenwoods Songster

    Apr 29, 2007
    I only have one brood of chicks now. so they are definatly all hers.As far as colors,most of them are Brahma/brown-white leghorn mixes, Most are white,with blonde and cream colors on them.I think there is a wyndotte/brahma and a Buff orp/Brahma mix in there, one is black and white the other is buff orangy colored with black speckles. but she is pecking all of them, i have seen her peck every single one.
    Shes not really peck that hard, its just she is pecking so often.

    Since all of the chicks are featherd out and its warm outside,i moved them to a chicken wired off space in the floor barn,they were in a brooder with a heat lamp,and now another broody hen with 3 day old eggs is in it.

    I bet it is still alittle to cold outside at night (65-70 dg) for them to not have a heat lamp.
    So last night i put the hen in with the chicks and she puffed up and let all the chicks go under her with no problems.

    I guess she isnt a good mother.she was doing so good until now.dont know what got into her.
  6. rooster-red

    rooster-red Here comes the Rooster

    Jun 10, 2007
    Douglasville GA
    I would take the chicks from her, its not worth risking their lives.
  7. chickenwoods

    chickenwoods Songster

    Apr 29, 2007
    I took her out,a couple of days ago.

    and herd her bawk for the first time today in 2 months!!,
    as soon as i heard her bawwking i kneew she was over the chicks. and sure enough she is.

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