Mama Hen is sort of rough with her new babies, should I be concerned?

PortlandHen

Songster
5 Years
Jan 31, 2014
98
112
131
Portland, OR
We have 6 babies that hatched a couple days ago, and I'm noticing that Mama Hen is a bit rough with them. She'll kick them out of the way, bite at their heads, and I even watched her toss a chick out of the way of food (grabbed chicks head). The 4 larger chicks have been doing ok and getting out of the way (except for one timid chick), but the 2 others are bantam cochin/serama babies. They don't seem to be getting out of the way fast enough and she's stepping on them and kicking them all the time. I'm afraid she'll hurt them. Should I be concerned? She almost seems annoyed with the chicks and competitive with them (instead of motherly). Ugh.
 

ChickensAreSweet

Heavenly Grains for Hens
9 Years
Jun 8, 2010
15,100
621
398
Pacific NW- where the Douglas Firs grow
I would get them out quick and raise them in a brooder if you can.

The only time I have ever seen a broody hen be mean to her chicks was when I tried to give her feed store chicks and she rejected them. She should be loving and protective, showing them food and water, and sitting down so they can get under her.

Not all hens are good mamas.
 
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PortlandHen

Songster
5 Years
Jan 31, 2014
98
112
131
Portland, OR
I would get them out quick and raise them in a brooder if you can.

The only time I have ever seen a broody hen be mean to her chicks was when I tried to give her feed store chicks and she rejected them. She should be loving and protective, showing them food and water, and sitting down so they can get under her.

Not all hens are good mamas.
Ugh. Thank you. I'm so worried. I guess I'll be setting up a little brooder now.
 

ChickensAreSweet

Heavenly Grains for Hens
9 Years
Jun 8, 2010
15,100
621
398
Pacific NW- where the Douglas Firs grow
Quote: If you take them out of the flock be aware that 16 weeks is the best time to integrate them. In other words, they might be able to be integrated before then, but you take a chance on them being killed. So if you remove them from the flock (they are accepted as part of the flock when a broody raises them) then you will need separate quarters for them for quite a while.

Just thought you should know that before you decide. Not everyone has the space to have a separate coop/run area as a growout pen.
 
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PortlandHen

Songster
5 Years
Jan 31, 2014
98
112
131
Portland, OR
If you take them out of the flock be aware that 16 weeks is the best time to integrate them. In other words, they might be able to be integrated before then, but you take a chance on them being killed. So if you remove them from the flock (they are accepted as part of the flock when a broody raises them) then you will need separate quarters for them for quite a while.

Just thought you should know that before you decide. Not everyone has the space to have a separate coop/run area as a growout pen.
Man, well I took them out. Mama hen is puffing up and looking for them, but when I took them out of there they were shivering and she was just standing there. I don't know. My heart is broken for her and them, but I really feel like this is the best decision.

We will probably just section off a space in the coop with some mesh (that's what we did for broody hen when the other's were pecking her). Do you think that will work? We can also section off a space in the run.
 

ChickensAreSweet

Heavenly Grains for Hens
9 Years
Jun 8, 2010
15,100
621
398
Pacific NW- where the Douglas Firs grow
Quote: Oh if they were shivering then you did the right thing for sure!!! They may have died if you hadn't rescued them.

Sure you can section off a section with some mesh. The temperature requirements for a heat lamp and when to wean the heat are here in case you need them:
http://www.mcmurrayhatchery.com/chickcare.html

They will be happy chickies when they can get warm and cozy. You did give the mama hen a chance!
 
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