Mixing 2 different mother hens, same "coop" different age chicks. Mothers fighting.

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by MysteryChik, Oct 24, 2016.

  1. MysteryChik

    MysteryChik Chillin' With My Peeps

    We have a mother hen, that is still "raising" her 7 week old babies. Yesterday, our one of our neighbors hens hatched seven chicks, and he did not want them. We immediately said we would take them. ( we had no idea what he would do with the babies, we just knew he didn't want them). We have 2 - 15x17 feet open air coops. Right now, we have our Rooster in with four adult hens in one, and the other was for our mother hen and her babies. They sleep on the roost of course. We were pretty sure since she hasn't weaned her babies, that she wouldnt just take on seven new baby chicks, so we "borrowed" the neighbors hen and brought her ad her seven chicks up right at dark last night. put them in the coop, she immediately found a spot and nestled her babies underneath her. This morning when I went up to check on them all, both mother hens and OBVIOUSLY been fighting pretty badly. I have no clue why but I assume both were "protecting their babies in some way". all the babies were fine. But my poor mother hen was just on the ground staring in the corner like she was in time out. I let her and her babies out to free range and let the newer hen and babies stay in the coop. I have no idea what to do in this situation. any help would be greatly appreciated. I dont want the neighbor to kill the baby chicks. (he thought his hen had gotten eaten by something and disappeared and didn't find out until yesterday when she was back in the yard with babies that she obviously had gone broody and sat on eggs for a few weeks. But I also do not want to risk the life of my mother hen whom we love and adore so much.. thanks in advance guys!
  2. Little Fuzzy

    Little Fuzzy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 16, 2016
    Just fence off a part of your run and and a nest box for the neighbor's hen.
    1 person likes this.
  3. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs I Wanna Be A Cowboy Premium Member

    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    You can't just add new chickens to a flock, there will always be fighting and sometimes someone gets killed. You will need to fence them off in their own area for a few weeks, otherwise you will need to brood the chicks yourself and return the mother hen, and integrating the chick when they are old enough.
  4. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    Put your mother hen with the older babies in with the main flock. If she's still mothering them, integration should be fairly easy. Sounds like you have enough space. Just make a few hiding places for the littles and you should be good to go. Leave the new momma and her chicks in the other coop. Since that momma was never a part of your original flock, you can't use her to integrate the babies, maybe when the chicks are over a month or so......

    Or, you can raise the babies in a brooder, return the hen, and integrate when the chicks are older.
  5. Peeps61

    Peeps61 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 19, 2014
    NW Florida
    All great advice! When my broody hatched chicks, they stayed with the main flock with zero issues. I'd put your hen and the older chicks in with the main flock. The momma hen will integrate them with the others and save you the trouble.

    You can let the other hen raise the smaller chicks, but you'll have to integrate them later.
  6. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Occasionally I have to move a hen with a brood from one location to another where the new location already has broody hen(s) present. Generally I try to space out such hens since chicks can be harmed either by attacks from hen not their mother or conflicts can degrade mothering ability of combatants. Have pens like shown below that can be placed over the moved hen to control her movements. When I think local hen fight newcomer through pen wire then I pen resident(s) as well in their own pens. Chicks can then "float" about between pens. Setup complicates predator management during the day and does very little to benefit chick integration into flock later.


    Such pens can be moved about easily and can be cheap to build. I like to birds can be moved about on fresh ground on a fairly regular basis.
    1 person likes this.
  7. MysteryChik

    MysteryChik Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thank you all for the advice. Last night I did move the hen with the older chicks into the larger coop with the rest of the older flock. We do have two separate roosting bars, so I was hoping she would just take her babies onto the one that isn't being use by all the others right now but NOPE. she and all over her babies were ontop of the nesting boxes somehow. We have a slanted "roof over them" to stop just that from happening. so we individually moved her and the chicks and placed them on the other roost. this morning, she was back up over the nesting boxes but her chicks were all down when I opened the door to let them free range and seemed perfectly fine with the other chickens.
  8. Peeps61

    Peeps61 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 19, 2014
    NW Florida
    Glad that it all worked out! She may be getting ready to wean them if she was in a separate spot.
  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Guess you need to increase the angle of the slant......
    .....might need to cover the openings of the nests too, from a couple hours before roost time to well after dark or very early in morning.

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