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Mama hen scolding babies...won't let them out of the coop?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by chickenlittle+4, Jun 18, 2011.

  1. chickenlittle+4

    chickenlittle+4 Hatching

    Jun 18, 2011
    I've been reading posts on here for years and always seem to be able to find an answer to whatever question I have...but can't seem to find an answer to the current issue. We have one BB Red Old English bantam that is super broody. Lives with a flock of Americanas. Our roo leaves her alone so I finally let her sit on 5 Americana eggs. 4 of the 5 hatched on May 9 and they are pretty much as big as the bantam now. Yesterday she was the only one in the yard...chicks were all inside their little coop. Water and chick starter in the coop, but mama was out scratching about. The chicks come running when I call them (usually have some treat, mash out of the horse buckets, fruit, etc) but as soon as I called and they popped out of the coop the Bantam started squawking at them and chased them back inside. She never would let them out yesterday. Have coyotes, skunks, snakes, hawks, etc that live nearby so thought there had been a preditor close by. Same thing today - she stays in the yard and they sit at the door of the coop wanting out. If one ventures out she squawks at it and chases it - pecking at its wings- until it runs back in the coop. The boldest and biggest (that I suspect is a roo) will challenge her a little and she chases it all around the yard pecking at its wings until it runs back in the coop.

    We have had chickens for a long time, but haven't ever let a hen sit on eggs before so I don't know if this is normal behavior or if there is maybe some other problem - maybe with the size of her chicks. They are all scared of her...run like crazy when she starts after them. Wondering if I should put her back with the rest of the flock and let the chicks stay in that coop. Have 8 silver laced wyandottes that are 2 weeks older...could maybe put them all together for now. Any thoughts would be appreciated! Thanks

  2. Judy

    Judy Crowing Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    I suspect what is happening is she is through with being a mama and trying to "kick them out of the house" which, for some reason, to her means making them go in the coop. Mine usually stop mothering around 4 or 5 weeks. If my guess is right, she would probably prefer to be separated from them at this point. If it's wrong, she should try to find them and call them incessantly if you remove them.

    By the way, welcome! Glad to have you leave the ranks of the lurkers!
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 18, 2011
  3. old geezer

    old geezer Songster

    Sep 2, 2010
    cambridge , ny
    i'll bet she saw a snake [​IMG]--same happened to a friend of mine who i get fertilized eggs when one of my hens goes broody--when he went into the garden which is located near the run---he saw a good size milk snake skitter out from under the rubbarb---[​IMG].
  4. chickenlittle+4

    chickenlittle+4 Hatching

    Jun 18, 2011
    She is definitely done mothering and ready to go back to work - egg in the nest this afternoon! Will move her back with her flock tonight and let the chicks keep the little coop.
    Thanks for the help! And the welcome, although I'm a die-hard lurker [​IMG] This forum is an amazing wealth of information and almost always has already had someone ask my question with all the answers right there!
    Thanks again!

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