I'm joining my broody/chicks with the big girls....any suggestions?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by 3peeps, Jun 4, 2008.

  1. 3peeps

    3peeps Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 4, 2007
    Hi,

    I've got sort of a mess trying to integrate my broody orpington and her three 8-week-olds with our two other hens. They've been seeing eachother all along, because the broody has been moved around the back yard in a pen with her babies...even right close up to the run with the two big girls. She was originally part of the big girl flock, but as anticipated, there are "issues" reintegrating.

    Does anybody have any advice on this? I've separated our wyandotte hen because she's quite aggressive to everyone. Now the broody orpington and her chicks are in with our australorp and there have been lots of attacks on the australorp hen by the broody all day.

    Do I assume that they will all settle down?

    What constitutes dangerous aggression...blood? I've got lots of hyperventilation going on, but no blood as of yet.

    What to do with the aggressive wyandotte...soup? I always said I'd never keep a mean chicken, but eggs are always nice. If I keep her isolated for a few days, will her status in the flock change maybe?

    If I try putting everyone in a completely new area for a while, maybe that will help any territorial issues? But then, I'm sure there will be an egg strike! [​IMG] LOL.

    Thank you to anyone who can tell me what's what!
     
  2. 3peeps

    3peeps Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 4, 2007
    P.S. I should add that the chicks are fine...the broody has been protecting them well as long as the mean wyandotte is kept away.
     
  3. cluckychick

    cluckychick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 29, 2008
    South of KCMO
    I just sat with mine and watched and only interfered if one was mean and it went rather well.
     
  4. 3peeps

    3peeps Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 4, 2007
    Thanks Cluckychick... how did you intervene? It looks like you've got plenty of birds to keep an eye on. [​IMG]
     
  5. cluckychick

    cluckychick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 29, 2008
    South of KCMO
    Well I take my little portable folding chair and sit right in the middle of their run and if I see one picking on the other I let them know who's the boss...ME [​IMG]

    Usally the momma will take care of her chicks and let anyone have the what for is they come to close and she don't like it [​IMG]
     
  6. Shrader

    Shrader Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 7, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    I'm a few weeks behind you, 3Peeps, so I'll be curious how your integration works.
     
  7. 3peeps

    3peeps Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 4, 2007
    Well, I can say that I think they'd do better with more space. I think if they were free ranging it wouldn't be such a big deal.

    Still some major bullying by the broody orpington today toward the australorp hen.

    And here I felt bad for broody mamma for being stompled and gouged by the mean wyandotte who I have separated! Makes me want to throw my hands up and release them to the great wild. (LOL. That's my 6-year-old's suggestion!)

    I'm starting to wonder if there are certain things a disorganized small-backyard person with close neighbors should just accept...get chicks, raise them, let them lay eggs. Broody projects, flock mergers, and waiting to see who's a rooster...exciting? Yes! Easy? NO.
     
  8. 3peeps

    3peeps Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 4, 2007
    Quote:Shrader...are you merging a broody and her chicks, or just chicks?
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2008
  9. Chirpy

    Chirpy Balderdash

    May 24, 2007
    Colorado
    Shrader and 3peeps: I'm a few weeks behind both of you. My broody just hatched one chick four days ago and I'm paying close attention to this thread to see how to go about the reintroducing momma and baby back to the flock.

    I was going to try that reintroduction when the chick was a few weeks old but maybe I should wait until she/he is older than that?

    I also thought about putting momma and her chick in the other side of the coop with my new babies who are just now a month old. I'm afraid though that momma may be too aggressive for them.
     
  10. 3peeps

    3peeps Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 4, 2007
    I don't know...maybe earlier is better? I got a lot of my information from the broody hen article at http://www.themodernhomestead.us/article/Broody-Hens-1.html

    Other
    people seem to have luck just letting the flocks join, unless particular birds in the flock are aggressive.

    I'm going to try and get my act together to provide them all a larger space. I think the distraction of yard and grass would help, but I need some form of larger enclosed pasture, or maybe a good tractor. We have a fenced yard, but that's predominantly for our daughter to play, and I don't want her running, jumping rope, doing handstands in chicken droppings.
     

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