Mama hen gone crazy?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by JensHens, Jun 22, 2007.

  1. JensHens

    JensHens Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 18, 2007
    About a week ago, I tried letting my mama out to free range with her 4 chicks at rhe same time my other four hens were out. The hens never bothered the babies.[​IMG]

    However Mama chased and dominated the hens, not protecting the chicks, but taking over the dust bath hole, the waterer, etc. The hens give her wide berth or else!

    She doesn't seem interested in ther chicks. She picks on two of them terribly. She goes into the big coop at night and I've always put here back with the chicks.

    Last night I let here stay overnight with the big hens and the chicks were by themselves. (they are about 7 weeks old).

    At 5:30 am there was such a racket![​IMG]

    Mama was clucking her head off! The hens were all huddled together in a corner. Mama was the highest in the pecking order before she was broody. So I put her with the chicks and they flew to her and she still seemed agitated and paced around a lot but was finally quiet.

    Did she miss her babes even though she's been nasty to them? Will they lose interest in her first before they separate from her? My main concern is that I see the largest chick not being able to get to food and water because mama chase it off if she's close to it. It just seems thst she's lost that mothering instinct. But went crazy untill I put her back with them.
     
  2. justusnak

    justusnak Flock Mistress

    What a fickle hen! At 7 weeks, I would think she would be wanting to ween them off a bit. Maybe thats why she is acting that way. Mother nature is telling her to let them go, but her mothering instincts is telling her...just a few more days ( or weeks) Poor gal. Can't you just put them all together? Im sure momma wont let the others hurt the babies...and at 7 weeks, they should be pretty good size.
     
  3. JensHens

    JensHens Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 18, 2007
    I have thought of putting them together especially since the hens just aren't that bothered by them when they free range together. I'm just not sure. I've always heard that they should be closer in size to the full grown hens.
     
  4. justusnak

    justusnak Flock Mistress

    If they all free range together...then I would just put them in the same henhouse after they free range. Should be ok. Just watch them...see how it goes. Good luck!
     
  5. Hotwings

    Hotwings Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 27, 2007
    southwestern Michigan
    They are being weaned from the mother hen. She is probably letting them know it is time to grow up. At 7 weeks they are big enough. I wouldn't worry as this is normal chicken behavior.
     

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