it was a disaster !!!!! I seperated them and wished I had not! Update

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by oesdog, Jul 18, 2010.

  1. oesdog

    oesdog Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have 4 chicks with mum outside Hatched 1/2 June so about 6 weeks. I also have 2 in a brooder about 5weeks hatched 6/7th June.

    All the chicks have spent a bit of time together in the garden ( Well actually we have supervised worm finding hunts!) But the Hen has started to pick on the two chicks from the brooder. She never did this before but now is!!!! So we have to be careful as we don;t want any hurt. We are thinking of making a seperate coop and run for the 6 baby chicks atached to the main run so they can still see mum and the other hens but will have more chance to get to know each other with out the Hen in the way. How old do thay need to be before we start to think on doing this? The Mum is very protective and screeches if she thinks we are taking any chick from her. The other two in the brood box go mad if you take one out for a while too! One of them has been ill on and off and is weaker than the rest so not sure how she would do in a pen with other babies yet.

    Thanks Oesdog- [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2010
  2. dan_grow

    dan_grow Chillin' With My Peeps

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    around 6 weeks the mom would abandon them. sometimes earlier by a week sometimes later
     
  3. oesdog

    oesdog Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think it will be later for Bertha she loves being a mum and they are 6 weeks now. She has no intention of giving them up yet. They still hop on her back and she still throws everything you give her on the ground for them. I don't ever seem to see her eat herself!

    Oesdog - [​IMG]
     
  4. MareeZoCool

    MareeZoCool Chillin' With My Peeps

    My hen started weaning her brood at about 4 weeks old. Weaning by pushing them away & pecking at them. Forcing them to fend for themselves. Chickens are tough, even those young ones.[​IMG]
     
  5. Chickenaddict

    Chickenaddict Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would say it's safe to take babies from mom at 4-6 weeks old IF she hasn't already chased them off by then. It can vary how long the mothers brood chicks. The norm here is 4-6 weeks but had a cochin hatch 6 seramas and she stuck with those babies until they were 3 months old! I don't think it's a good idea to seperate them from mom where she can see them and they can see her, they will get really stressed out trying to find a way to her and she will do the same. If the chicks with her have already been accepted by the rest of the flock I would just leave them be.
     
  6. oesdog

    oesdog Chillin' With My Peeps

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    No She is in a small pen on her own with the chicks.

    We were going to wait until she had enough and put her in with the big girls and put all the babies in together. Some folk have said put them were they can see each other others have said not - I AM CONFUSED and don;t want to do something wrong and hurt them. She certainly has no intention of pushing these away yet. Just been out and she is laying down with them all on top of her and in her feathers. Would be a bit of a shame to force her to give them up! just because they are 6 weeks? I mean the other ones are only 5 weeks and I nearly lost one of those a few days ago so I am a bit protective! Fellow down the road just puts all his together 4 roos, all the hens and all the tiny babies too! He has some losses and I couldn;t do that.


    Oesdog
     
  7. oesdog

    oesdog Chillin' With My Peeps

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    OK the chicks are 8 and 7 weeks now. I took Bertha and put her back in the adult coop with the big girls like you all said at night etc!

    Then I put the other 2 chicks 7 week olds in with the 4 - 8 week olds.

    Since then its been hell on earth! - All Bertha does is cry - I never new hens cried before -?????? She mades a terrible moaning sound and lays by the fence. She won't move at all. She just howles this awful sobbing sound all day and night for three days!

    In the baby coop it was just as bad - the two roos went for the smaller 2 from the brood box - even though they have played together for days outside without an issue?
    So they kept attacking the little ones and chasing them back inside the coop so they couldn;t get out and then they got injured at the front of their crown and they squalked and squalked. I did everything right I gave treats and put plenty of food and water down but it just got worse and worse. Bertha was terrible and I even had to lift her to put her in at night she just went all limp and wouldn;t do anything for herself! Crazy I even had to put her on her perch!!!!!!!!! Then the big girls layed into her and they have been together for years! Even when Bertha was away with the babies I used to get her out to spend time with the other hens - so she wasn;t ever fully seperated and yet still they have attacked her - but maybe its because she just lays down and cries and doesn;t actually do anything?

    - Today it got so bad we just couldn;t take anymore and moved them all back again. DH found another brood box as the 2 little tikes had half eaten the other one! Then we put them back and they looked relieved and were back cuddling up to their own Mummy duck toy! So much for the big world outside the brood box? Then we opened up the small coop and let Bertha out of the big coop. She imediatelly started that old clucking and they were all together again!!!!!!!! Happy little critters. The babies were jumping up and down all over her and she was running about like she was so happy. Then she fluffed up her feathers and marched back into the small pen like she was going home! They all followed her and when I checked later she was sat in the corner with one under her wings and three stood on top of her back! - She is in no way ready to stop being mum is she? - When I gave her bread later she threw it on the ground for the chicks and stomped her feet and made that clucking sound all over. The chicks are now half her size and yet still she puts them under her to sleep. - This seperating thing was a total disaster and did not go well - it just upset everyone. Bertha was distraught - I never thought I would hear a hen cry like that?

    Oesdog - [​IMG] Glad its over and they are a family again. - now I have to tell her she can;t keep the boys - ouch she is not going to like that or be my friend for a very long time is she??
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2010

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