Lone Hen meeting 3 wk chicks?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by violethill, Mar 15, 2012.

  1. violethill

    violethill New Egg

    1
    0
    7
    Mar 15, 2012
    Sadly we are recently down to 1 hen from last years set of 6 chicks (our first year raising them). We have 11 new chicks that are 3 weeks old and we've been taking them out to the yard in a playgate for the last 4 days since the weather's been so nice. Our hen free ranges outside of her chicken tractor because now that she's alone, she goes kinda crazy in there if I don't let her out during the day. She was very curious about the chicks so we let her in the playgate. She talks a little, will let them peck her in the face and beak, and only sometimes nips back, and does this weird thing where she freezes when one comes close to her face. Then when we put them back in the brooder, she clucks around as though looking for them. She used to run after me or come when called to go back in the tractor, but we've had a heck of a time since she met the chicks. She has also stopped laying (which I had expected from stress after she lost her last friend, but it's been over a month of still getting eggs - till the last 4 days of no eggs plus chick interaction. She was not broody before, so I was worried she'd start picking at them and really hurt them. We are ready to move them into the old guinea house (as a larger brooder/new home) - should I move her in there with them? Would it be safe? She seems to want to be with them, but also she's only ever known the tractor as home - will that throw her off (it's only big enough for 6)?

    Thanks for any advice!!
     
  2. 7quails3chicken

    7quails3chicken Out Of The Brooder

    31
    1
    26
    Mar 15, 2012
    it sounds like she will make a good mommy for them or maybe she just wants friends, i have a hen that does the same thing with "quails" puts her head down and freezes up it's so sweet its just there way of trying to get some love, your hen is lonely and so was mine before i put her in the coop with my quail they do very good together, but if you have any doubts just keep an eye on them if you see her charging at them like they are a yummy snack then i would remove the hen right away, but if she seems fine with having them close to her then its all good ,Wish my hen would love my baby chicks but no she only love's the quail lol hope this helps ^^ oh one more thing, try taking a few steps back with the chicks out of the play pin and see how your hen reacts to the chicks running up to her,your hen should be calm and want to teach them to dig for bugs and stuff but, "if not" if she try's hurting them at all, be close to stop it ok
     
  3. Fierlin1182

    Fierlin1182 powered-flight

    17,156
    222
    348
    Aug 26, 2011
    It doesn't sound as if she's out to hurt them. I had chicks with the grown hens, and at first they used to bully the heck out of the little ones but after one of the hens died, the other started getting along with them better. They do enjoy the company, most likely. I've often seen all three pecking each other affectionately on the face, and it's pretty cute. :p
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by