Mean girl attacking broody hen

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Mixed flock enthusiast, Apr 21, 2019.

  1. Mixed flock enthusiast

    Mixed flock enthusiast Songster

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    May 21, 2018
    Stillwater, OK
    Background: have four one year old mutt hens that are the “mean girls”. Last summer, integrated five “new girls” that were two months younger (now 10 mo old). Mean girls tolerate new girls but are still mean: they will peck them if there is food anywhere or feel ornery. Because mean girls are so mean, we wanted to add to the flock by having a broody raise from within. 9 ball is a black Cooper marans “new girl”. She is the top ranking of new girls and was holding her own with mean girls. Three days ago, she went broody, plucking her breast and all. We’ve left her in the nest box, kicking out twice a day to make sure she eats, while we plan. Plan is to set up a wire dog crate in the coop with straw and eggs (12? Or less for a first timer?), food and water and let her brood. When I kicked her out of the nest box to eat this AM, all of the mean girls full on attacked her, not just a peck but awful flying attack. ???? Why are they doing this? Does this mean that 9 ball will not be able to integrate/defend the chicks she hatches? I also wanted 9 ball to be able to get out in the run a little while brooding to stretch her legs - will she instead have to be locked in the cage at all times? Thanks for any help!!!
     
  2. chickens really

    chickens really Crazy Call Duck Momma

    I set up a Brooder in my garage and Hatch my Hen and Chicks there. They attack her because she is acting different. My Hens remain in the Brooder a few days and then join the flock.
     
  3. Mixed flock enthusiast

    Mixed flock enthusiast Songster

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    May 21, 2018
    Stillwater, OK
    Thanks for responding! I had thought it would help with integration if the hen never completely left the flock? Plan now is to brood in cage in the coop, then transfer to a separate section of the run until chicks can join flock (2 weeks? Longer?)
     
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  4. chickens really

    chickens really Crazy Call Duck Momma

    Well..I put my Hens and Chicks back in at around 5 days old. I do it while free range time and no one messes with a Momma and her Chicks. I put Momma into the Coop. Definitely keep her and the nest safe till she hatches.
     
  5. Mixed flock enthusiast

    Mixed flock enthusiast Songster

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    May 21, 2018
    Stillwater, OK
    I was going to put her in the wire cage with eggs during the night. If she would accept a daytime transfer, I could put her in there now... Are they likely to accept a daytime nesting change? She is just on a golf ball now...
     
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  6. chickens really

    chickens really Crazy Call Duck Momma

    Yes mine always accept the move. I also hang a sheet over the crate . Put the ball in the new nest and walk away till she settles.
     
  7. Roo5

    Roo5 Songster

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    Feb 17, 2019
    It’s normal.When a bird is in broody state of mind my flock tend to test them more and try to gain status,it’s partially, what I think, because the bird has either been in the house so long and not there to defend her place in order ,and because her broody stance looks aggressive, as if she’s threatening.The hen might change when she hatched chicks,Ive had broody hens rip other flock mates to shreds that usually wouldn’t ever challenge had they not had chicks.Some mothers will go the extra mile for their chicks if nessacary.I would separate her ASAP and let her and the chicks live in a grow out pen till their older.Chances are even if they do get to interact, mama will keep her distance within the flock.
     
  8. chickens really

    chickens really Crazy Call Duck Momma

    A Broody if given a choice would not Brood amongst a Flock but go off somewhere private to lay and set eggs and she would rejoin the flock once Chicks are up and about.
     
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  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    You may break by doing this, let her decide when to eat and drink.
    2x4 minimum space in crate would be good.
    I'd not give her more than 12.
    Best of cLuck!

    My broody notes:
    When I have a broody I wait until she's been in the nest most the day and all night for 2-3 days.

    Then I put her in the broody enclosure(4x6) with fake eggs in the floor nest, she won't like being moved, but if she is truly good and broody she will settle onto the new nest within a half a day.
    Then I give her fresh fertile eggs and mark the calendar.

    I like them separated by wire from the flock, it's just easier all around.
    No having to mark eggs and remove any additions daily, no taking up a laying nest, no going back to the wrong nest after the daily constitutional.
     
  10. Mixed flock enthusiast

    Mixed flock enthusiast Songster

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    May 21, 2018
    Stillwater, OK
    Update: thanks to everyone who responded with suggestions. I do have her in a smaller than ideal wire dog crate, about 2 x 3 ft as our bigger, intended broody box is occupied by another chicken with its own issues. We put her in with her golf ball yesterday and she ignored it. At dusk, we removed the golf ball, let her out, and replaced with six ceramic eggs. She seemed to have accepted those by morning. I’m surprised aart, that getting them out for a constitutional could break them, as when we’ve tried to break broodies, it’s taken far more than that. We have food and water in the crate, but I had intended to haul her out and carry to a separate area (no mean girls) a few times a day, then replace in the crate. Is this a bad idea?
     

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