How do I sort my flock? UPDATE

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by oesdog, Jul 28, 2010.

  1. oesdog

    oesdog Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am looking a bit of advice

    Because I had chicks under a hen and also incubator hatched chicks - they kind of ended up in different places. They are now a good age and all are feathered up.
    The 4 chicks outside are still with mom - who is more and more reluctant to give them up and very very protective. Her chicks are about 8 weeks hatched 1st and 2nd June.

    The two inside from the brood box were hatched 6th and 7th June. They had a few issues and were sick and all sorts so have been in the house for weeks.
    Now they are well feathered and are doing well and are healthy. They have been evicted from the house and are now in the garage. Though still in a large cardboard box with a bit of plastic over the top to stop them escaping. No lamp now and they get through nights ok cuddled up to their toy mummy duck and mummy socks! Yeah they still sleep in their mummy sock beds beside mummy duck. Tonight I went to check them and they have tipped their water everywere again and soaked the box and are now stripping the layers of the box. They never did this in the house? I worry about them eating the cardboard -? Though they seem to just throw it on the ground like two noughty kids who just got caught stripping the new wallpaper off their bedroom walls! Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh Really frustrating.

    Anyhow I thought I would put Bertha ( Mummy Hen) back into the big pen with the adult birds and put the wee chicks from the shed into the cage with the other 4 chicks. However when I split Bertha from them she got a pasting from the other girls and just stood hollering for the babies and they went mad hollering for her - it was all a bit upsetting really and now they are back all cuddled up again together. Being a mum myself it is soooooooooooo hard to know what to do??????? I can;t put the two chicks from the garage in with Bertha because she attacks them. They were great together for ages but I had to keep taking the little ones away to nurse as they kepts having things go wrong and so they didn;t get to stay and now she wont have them at this late stage.

    What should I do ???????? - I would like Bertha to give up being a mum on her own and go back with her sisters in the adult pen - but they dont; want her and she doesn;t want to go. It would leave the juniour pen free for all 6 chicks who get on well.

    ( However one escaped tonight and was outside that pen? Can;t figure how but its been secured again !!!!!) One of the chicks from the brood box is very much smaller than the others and I worry it wont get its share of the food?

    So I really would like some help getting through this transition? I don;t want to hurt or upset any of the hens or chicks but someone is going to be upset? Poor girlies have all gone on the moult and everytime they shake their feathers come out so they are all looking really misserable right now anyway.

    Oesdog - [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2010
  2. rcentner

    rcentner Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Le Roy, NY
    It's hard to separate mama and babies, they will scream for eachother. Heart wrenching it is, but you must close the door and walk away. They will forget about it in the morning. I promise you that if you move mama after they roost, they will stop screaming by morning. In my experience, my mama could still see the babies and was pacing for a while, but a day or so later they all forgot. Mama was happy to be back with adult birds and was looking like she wanted to be with the rooster a week or so before I "weaned" them.
     
  3. midget_farms

    midget_farms Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I agree - Move momma back with the older birds after dark when they are all asleep. The others will accept her back that way & not be upset.

    She will get over it pretty quick -

    your birds are too young to put in the coop with the other chickens - momma will protect them from the others, but its too early to try that.

    I think its best to move her out - put all the chicks together & give it a couple days.
     
  4. oesdog

    oesdog Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the advice - I think the best thing is to split them tonight when the big girls go to bed I will pop Bertha in with them to roost.
    Then put all the 6 chicks together in the small pen. Maybe give them some more hay for warmth tonight as I am sure they will miss mummy as they all sleep under her still. I can;t believe they all fit!!!!!!!!!!!!! She is a pretty big bird! - DH thinks we should buy a few more birds and put them in at the same time as Bertha so the others wont know who to pick on first. - Gerty is a really bad girl and beat up the roo pretty bad when he came - but funny thing is a lot of the chicks kind of look more like Gerty than any of the others!

    Anyhow I will let you know how it goes. - Its just I feel sooooooooooo cruel splitting the mum and chicks? Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh !!!!!!! I hurt for them. But I am not going to get rid of the Pullets - eventually she will get them back in with her when they are bigger. - How many weeks do they need to be for that????? I mean going in the big hen pen!

    Thanks
    Oesdog - [​IMG]
     
  5. oesdog

    oesdog Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ok I did the dirty deed - I got mumma hen and I put her back in the coop with the big girls. They are on their perches and she is now laying on the hay at the bottom crying this odd kind of sound , I feel really cruel and sick to my pit. All the babies are in together and two had a fight all ready. They are now in the dark pf their tiny coop so I hope they cuddle up and keep warm. I feel so cruel!!!!!!!!!!!! Please tell me I am doing the right thing. I never saw a hen cry before. Bertha is making really odd sounds like I just broke her heart!

    Oesdog - [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     

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