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How to get my hen who has 4 yellow chicks to accept the 2 black ones she is rejecting

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by madgeroonie, Apr 25, 2017.

  1. madgeroonie

    madgeroonie Just Hatched

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    Nov 7, 2015
    Hi all, I am new to this forum malarky. Great to have the opportunity to talk all things chicken with other enthusiasts! I have a problem that I am hoping some of you may be able to help with. I have a hen who sat on 8 eggs but only managed to hatch 2 of them (yellow and pale brown) so I decided to buy 4 extra day-old chicks to add to her flock. I put all 4 of them under her yesterday and she seemed to accept them while she was sitting but they really didn't understand all her chirps and clucks as they were raised in an incubator and had never heard mother hen before! Luckily they soon leant with the help of her pecking them that it was a good idea to take cover under her and she was happy with that. However - today it was the day for showing her offspring how to scratch and eat so she was frantically doing so and was very happy that the original chicks did what she told them but was annoyed the others didn't understand her so pecked them all! Eventually the new yellow and pale brown ones got the hang of pecking too and she accepted them well but even when the black one (cuckoo maran) and the dark brown (barnevelder) actually did what she told them, she still carried on pecking them till they ran away. I found it very disturbing to see that as they day progressed it was evident that she was happy with all the chicks being put under her while she was sitting but every time she got up to scratch and teach she recognised the 2 darker chicks as different form the rest and wouldn't accept them. She rushed at them with wings wide, squawking and pecking while they ran away toward me to save them! Luckily it was a sunny day but with a wind and I had to keep checking them endlessly so I could catch her sitting and put them underneath to get warm again. I managed to get them to eat and drink but am afraid they will not survive if they keep getting picked on like this and will either get pecked to death or die of cold or end up with damaged internal organs and/or immune system (I have read a lot already!). So.... I am wondering if anyone has any helpful advise for what to do - ideally to get her to accept them or whether there is really no hope and maybe I just need to rehome them with someone who has a heated broody house (I live offered and don't have enough solar power to run one myself.) With any luck she will wake up in the morning having forgotten it all and won't notice the colour difference and will accept them! Thanks all. Look forward to your answers.
     
  2. PD-Riverman

    PD-Riverman Overrun With Chickens

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    Jan 14, 2012
    Conway SC
    If the hen is not accepting them, she is not going to accept them. She will probably kill them if you do not remove them. Good Luck
     
  3. madgeroonie

    madgeroonie Just Hatched

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    Nov 7, 2015
    Good news - after putting them under her again last night then showing them the food she was offering in the morning by nudging their heads towards what she was scratching in the morning she has now accepted them! Hooray! Happy families! She seemed to forget overnight that she hadn't liked them and by the morning had bonded. Phew!
     

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