Mom Hen Attacking Chicks!??!

rosemarysugar

Songster
Mar 1, 2018
487
596
201
Meeker, Colorado
Hi I had a broody hatch chicks, she was and AMAZING mom at first but she abandoned them at 4 weeks old now they live in a broody in our garage. We take the chicks out about once a day to get them integrated into the flock. All of a sudden the mom now seems to have a crazy drive to attack her chicks!!! We took the chicks out in the big girl yard for the first time ( they have not seen each other for a little over a week) when we set them in the yard the Mom heard there peeps and ran over and started ATTACKING them!! Now she does this every time we take them out and will do ANYTHING to get to those chicks and attack them?! She has this psycho look in her eyes when she sees them. What is wrong with her, she went from an amazing mother, to abandoning them at 4 wks to trying to kill them?!!?
How can I stop this?!?!
 

Folly's place

Enabler
10 Years
Sep 13, 2011
23,593
39,666
1,106
southern Michigan
Why did you separate them from their flock? Now they are new, and need to be gradually introduced back to the flock. have them out there separated by wire, so they can see and be seen, and then after a few days, let them range together, or set up an opening into their safe space that the adults can't enter.
Broody hens vary in the time they want to mother their hatchlings, but separating the babies isn't best, rather let them blend into the flock.
How much space do they have, in square feet/ bird? How many separate feeders and waterers? Hiding places, not blocked off as dead ends?
Any actual injuries?
Mary
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
12 Years
Feb 2, 2009
27,862
22,031
907
Southeast Louisiana
I've had broody hens wean their chicks as early as three weeks, I've had some take care of the chicks more than two months before they wean them. Four weeks is a perfectly normal time. To avoid your situation I let my broody hens raise their chicks with the flock. When the hen weans them they make their own way with the flock, even if they are only three weeks old. But I have a lot of room in the coop and outside, and I have several widely-separated feeding and watering stations. Nor everyone has enough room for this to work.

Other people do what you did, keep them separated from the flock. So now you have to manage integration instead of the hen taking care of it. Treat it like a brooder-raised integration, there are all kinds of posts on here about how to do that. Sometimes it works quite smoothly, sometimes there are issues. Different things affect your success. How much room you have in the coop and outside can be a big issue. Individual chicken personalities can be an issue even with a lot of room.

I don't know why that hen is now attacking the chicks. She was recently high on hormones telling her to take care of them. Then her body said get away from them, they can take care of themselves. Perhaps that has something to do with it, I don't know.

My main suggestion is to house them next to the main flock where they can see each other but can't get to them. Give them time to get used to them and maybe for the hormones to settle in that one hen. After a week or more try it and see what happens when you can observe. It may take more time. Be patient, don't rush it.

Good luck!
 

rosemarysugar

Songster
Mar 1, 2018
487
596
201
Meeker, Colorado
Why did you separate them from their flock? Now they are new, and need to be gradually introduced back to the flock. have them out there separated by wire, so they can see and be seen, and then after a few days, let them range together, or set up an opening into their safe space that the adults can't enter.
Broody hens vary in the time they want to mother their hatchlings, but separating the babies isn't best, rather let them blend into the flock.
How much space do they have, in square feet/ bird? How many separate feeders and waterers? Hiding places, not blocked off as dead ends?
Any actual injuries?
Mary
The Mom and chicks lived in a nursery away from the flock that's why they are separated.
Our flock lives in a 45' by 45' yard and there is one main feeder, there are not many hiding spots we have a coop and two shelters, very open. Yes, we have had some injuries one of the chicks has 2 pretty good sized pecking wounds on the vent ( caused by mom).
 

rosemarysugar

Songster
Mar 1, 2018
487
596
201
Meeker, Colorado
15678703084744431981170114821901.jpg
22974.jpeg
I am curious as to what breed of hen the mother is?
We are thinking blue splash something, we got her at a local farm and have no idea what she is. here is a pic
 

Acre4Me

Crossing the Road
Nov 12, 2017
6,555
21,039
867
Western Ohio
The chicks are new intruders to the flock now. Next time, allow the momma hen to introduce the chicks to the flock. We have one broody girl. She adopted chicks we bought when she was broody and has raised three batches this way. She is super protective of them at first, so she has her own brooder nest space in the barn with a pop door into the run. We fence this area off (and cover it for shade) for the first 2-3 weeks (weather dependent). Then we allow her to introduce the chicks to the flock. She gets really worked up while her momma hormones are high, but by the 2 week age they are very quick and responsive to her so will respond well to her chicken directions when she is protecting them. Once she no longer mothers them, the chicks tend to keep to themselves in the flock -until laying age. They stay away from the adults and get pecked now and again to remind them of their manners, but are not considered intruders bc mom introduced them.

Conversely, when we have had brooder/human raised chicks. they get time behind the sectioned off area, too. We adjust the moveable fence up on blocks, so the can get under it, but the adults cannot after about 4 weeks. The flock is used to them bc they are in the fenced off area, but still some hens are really aggressive towards chicken intruders and will really go after these chicks, so the chicks need a way to get away from the flock when they are picked on.

Currently we have a few broody momma hen raised chicks 10 weeks old. They keep to themselves, but the flock generally ignores them. Prior to that we had brooder raised chicks (no momma hen), and it required supervision from the humans the first 2 weeks of intermingle time with the flock, and they didn’t go into the coop to sleep with the adults for a longer period of time bc they were still being targeted by certain hens. They stayed in the brooder at night time for longer than the momma raised hens.
 

Shezadandy

Crowing
6 Years
5 Years
Sep 26, 2015
2,395
3,099
407
Portland OR
The Mom and chicks lived in a nursery away from the flock that's why they are separated.
Our flock lives in a 45' by 45' yard and there is one main feeder, there are not many hiding spots we have a coop and two shelters, very open. Yes, we have had some injuries one of the chicks has 2 pretty good sized pecking wounds on the vent ( caused by mom).

When she goes after them, is she still puffing up and clucking?
 

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