Is it normal for a hen to pick on babies?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by stone_family3, Aug 14, 2011.

  1. stone_family3

    stone_family3 Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,926
    23
    163
    Apr 11, 2011
    Ohio
    I try to give the chicks, hens and roo bonding time everyday (without a cage between them). First two days were great, they showed interest in each other and were very nice to each other. Now suddenly the hen is mean to the chicks. She pecked one on the head and it ran and hid. I scolded her telling her "No, be nice."

    The roo seems to be the nicest of the two. Hen and Roo are 15-ish weeks.
     
  2. greenfamilyfarms

    greenfamilyfarms Big Pippin'

    8,650
    36
    303
    Feb 27, 2008
    Elizabethtown, NC
    At 15 weeks of age, I'm assuming that the hen did not raise these chicks on her on. Is that correct?

    If so, that would explain why she and the roo is pecking at the new chicks. Most of the pecking is probably associated with trying to re-establish pecking order within the flock. I would separate the chicks until they could be integrated into the flock around 8 weeks of age. At that point, they will be big enough to run away if pecked until the pecking order is established.
     
  3. farmdude

    farmdude Chillin' With My Peeps

    482
    3
    123
    Sep 20, 2009
    NE Wisconsin
    My hens are only nice to the chicks they hatch out. They can tell the difference better than I can. I've hens kill chicks that weren't theirs that tried to snuggle in. To prevent this, I either isolate the hen & chciks from each other, or what I do now is let the hens share a nest and set the eggs together so they hatch out same day and they brood and raise the chicks together.
     
  4. Hangin Wit My Peeps

    Hangin Wit My Peeps AutumnBreezeChickens.com

    6,396
    10
    263
    Apr 20, 2008
    Birnamwood, Wisconsin
    My hens (with the exception of my sex link who ate her babies) were always nice to the babies they hatched out. I would watch them close and take the babies out if they get to rough...one hard peck and they could be dead [​IMG]
     
  5. stone_family3

    stone_family3 Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,926
    23
    163
    Apr 11, 2011
    Ohio
    Greenfamilyfarms, they are not her chicks however the roo is nice to them never once tried to peck at them or chase them.

    Farmdude, they are kept in a large dog kennel in the coop. I wanted to make the transition to the coop easier and give them a little time to know each other. They only get about 30 minutes of time out of the cage a day.
     
  6. they'reHISchickens

    they'reHISchickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,525
    19
    171
    Oct 31, 2008
    Reading
    Your hen and roo are very young-- teenagers themselves really.Their personalities at that age are like teenagers-- very unreliable. I would let the babies grow more before trying to join them to the older ones.
     
  7. farmdude

    farmdude Chillin' With My Peeps

    482
    3
    123
    Sep 20, 2009
    NE Wisconsin
    they'reHISchickens :

    Your hen and roo are very young-- teenagers themselves really.Their personalities at that age are like teenagers-- very unreliable. I would let the babies grow more before trying to join them to the older ones.

    I think this says it best.​
     
  8. stone_family3

    stone_family3 Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,926
    23
    163
    Apr 11, 2011
    Ohio
    Well I think my now 16 week old chickens are sorta bonding with the chicks. Found their cage wide open this morning and the chicks were where the older ones roost. Every one was okay. Thouh they were happy to be put back in their cage. Lol
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by