low order hen with chicks?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by carolinasculpture, Apr 18, 2012.

  1. carolinasculpture

    carolinasculpture Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 21, 2010
    Hi! We just lost a chicken and as according to the chicken math, we "must" replace it with at least 2 more. So, we happened to have a hen who had just gone broody and placed 3 eggs under her on the 1st., so we are expecting them to hatch around this weekend. She is a "lower ranking" hen and I had to kinda pen her in so the others wouldn't kick her off of her nest. Now she has been setting on a nest under the roost in this penned off area. She shows no signs of wanting to get out, so I remove her from the nest every day or two so she can poo, she has food and water she reaches from the nest. She has an area of about 6'x2' with the nest in the back corner. When ever I have let her out, some of the other hens pester her. So, here is my question: Is she going to be able to protect her chicks or should I leave them penned in? For how long? Should I open the pen up now, before they hatch, and see what happens? I would really appreciate ANY advise! Thanks in advance!

    edited for spelling....
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2012
  2. DanielleinLA

    DanielleinLA Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 12, 2011
    Los Angeles
    I was wondering the same thing! I have a broody sitting on 14 eggs due next weekend and she's in the coop with three other girls. They don't kick her off the nest but i'm still worried if she will be able to defend them should somebody get mean.
    From what I've read it looks like it could go either way. If you have her secure for now I would keep her there until you can really observe her interaction with the others.
    Good luck! I hope someone with knowledge replies!!
     
  3. carolinasculpture

    carolinasculpture Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 21, 2010
    Well, I guess I'll see soon enough. I think I will try leaving them in their area for about a week so I can see how they are doing and then I will take the barrier away when I can intercede if needed. Good luck with yours, I'll let you know what, if anything happens with mine!
     
  4. carolinasculpture

    carolinasculpture Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 21, 2010
    Hi! OK, I had all 3 eggs hatch last Saturday, the 21st. I planned to leave them all in their brood area for the first week and then to take them outside after that first week. But by Wednesday, the Momma was pacing and seemed to want to go out. So DD and I took the family into the run for a very closely supervised outing. A few of the other hens showed a little interst, but soon it became apparent that their interest lay more in making sure that Momma understood that she was still the low hen, and not in harming the chicks. After a few pecks at Momma, they were back to ignoring her, with the exception of her sister who was happy to have her out and about again. She joined in on feeding the chicks, but ran away when another hen challenged. Momma did and does stand up to the others, but all they usually do is one peck to Momma and then move on. So, anyway, outing 1 went well. Thursday I made a small run inside the big run so they could be out with out having to worry about the other hens. But when I could be around I let them out. Today I had them out in the big run all day. So far, so good. The only hitch at this point is that the ramp to the coop is too steep for the babies. I made an additional ramp, they can go up, but don't seem to get it yet. Then again, they are only a week old! So, so far so good. I am pleased at how well it seems to be going so far. It has been fun to watch Momma do her thing and protect "her" babies, show them how to sand bath, what treats are good, etc. Will keep you posted. How are yours coming along?
     

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