I tried to return a young chicken to it's parents and they attacked!

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10 Years
Oct 1, 2009
I posted a week or so ago about my young hen being attacked by my dog. She is well now and I took her out to reunite her with her parents but they didn't want her around them. Her dad (the rooster) kept trying to chase and spur her! Her mom tried to peck at her and ran her off away from them. I have my young hen in the house again because the parents keep trying to attack her. I had her inside for 1 week while she was heeling and while I was tending to her wounds. What do I do now? She used to walk around with her mom and dad and I thought they would be happy to see her again but they don't care about her and don't realize she is their baby anymore! Why are the parents acting like this and how can I return my young hen to them? I need your advice!!
Chickens aren't like people, so they don't exactly recognize long-lost relatives.. They're fine with her while she's there and grew up there. But when taking a bird out then putting it back with them after so long it is pretty much a new bird to them, the only way you can go is let them work out a pecking order or keep her separated at all times. If she is very young i would wait until she is at least laying age before trying to put her with the rest of the flock.

When they're laying age, they won't attack her or not for long (usually) due to the rooster seeing her as an "actual" female so he will try and protect her. And she then maybe able to hold her own against others..
You need to provide a place where they can see her for awhile, but cannot touch her. Any new bird in the flock gets this treatment and being away for a week makes her a "new" bird. After a week or two of this, you can probably reintroduce her into the flock without too much fuss. They will still peck at her a little to establish a pecking order but it won't be much.

Chickens are not like humans and do not recognize their young as their offspring after a certain age. Daddy roo will soon be breeding his baby girl when she comes of age!
Thanks for the advice! I got these chickens and rooster from the feed store when I went to get feed for my horses. The woman who owned them had to go out of the country for work and pawned them off on me because I am an animal lover. The rooster is 3 years old and the Mama hen is 2. Their young hen is fully feathered but not full grown. Anyway they walked around together and went into the barn at night together. One of my dogs got out and wounded the baby so I had to bring her in to care for her for a week. I never thought that the parents would be mean to her when she went back out with them. I only have these three chickens.. or as I say my chicken family. They have free run of five acres so I don't know how to re introduce the baby to the parents since the chickens aren't in a coop. I love this young hen and wish she could be a permanent fixture in the house but she is ready to go outside again. I am new at having chickens and need advice. Thanks for all your help!!
Try building her a small, wire fence enclosure with food and water, right near where you feed your other two. A large dog crate will work for a short while. This way, they are exposed to her, can see her, hear her, etc. This keeps her safe while they get used to her again.

If you really want to keep your little family safe from predators and winter temps, you might want to have a coop for them to go to at night. They can roost in the barn and all, but it's likely they will get picked off one by one when predators finally discover them.
I lock them up at night when they get in the barn because we have many bobcats and such running around at night. I let them out around 8am and they go about their day eating bugs and whatever other creatures they come across that are eatable to them. I have a old dog run that I will set up for the baby tomorrow. I'll set it up near the barn and give her shelter and food. Thanks so much for all of your advice!
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