mom pecks at babies

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by jencoons, Aug 30, 2014.

  1. jencoons

    jencoons Out Of The Brooder

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    So I got 3 one day old chicks for my crazy broody buff. She has been broody for a good two months now, so since we wanted to add a couple to our flock I thought we could sneak them under her. We put them under her last night, she was a little weird, pecking a little, but once they were under she was quiet and still. I went out at dawn this morning to sre what her waking reaction would be because I was afraid she would peck them. She seems to be fine if they are under her, but pecks at them very hard when they come out. Eventually they all three came out to wat and momma joined them with some very feirce eating/pecking. But after the chicks had eaten she began to peck them again very hard! I actually had to rescue one of them because she pecked it so hard. I put all three back in the nesting box and she promplty climbed in and sat on all three. But as soon as they started poking their little heads out, she began pecking them again! These dont seem like love taps...they seem hard to me but im not a chicken!! I was so nervous to leave them I brought them back in the house lest momma peck them to death! Is this normal momma behavior? Should I try again tonight? Should we just give up and hand rear them and introduce them to the other gals once they can hold their own? And then just break my poor chickless broodie??? The chicks will be 4 days old tomorrow! Thanks
     
  2. Twistedfeather

    Twistedfeather Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What may have happened was a case what happens with all broody chickens. It's true that chickens will accept all eggs and chicks even ducklings and will even go swimming with ducklings if needed be. But normally she has to hatch them first for this to happen but you can sometimes get away of doing it midprocess. But there is a reason that if you want to her to rear them that you should be cautious when you touch them because mother hens will go crazy enough to kill the chicks because you touched them. I haven't studied broody behavior to really truly know if this is the case but it sounds just enough like it. My chick got trampled because of it.
     
  3. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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    Hello there and welcome to BYC! [​IMG]

    You might want to remove them from her. I would be concerned she could hurt them. Do you have a brooder you can put them in and raise them yourself? Keep an eye on her if you do choose to leave them with her. She shouldn't be being so rough with them. Has she ever raised a successful brood? She may not have enough experience with being a momma.
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2014
    1 person likes this.
  4. jencoons

    jencoons Out Of The Brooder

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    She has never raised babies. She is just a year old and this is her first time being broody, but its been about 8 weeks. She and her sisters were hand raised by my son and I, but I wanted to let her raise the new babies....since she clearly wants them so badly! ;) she seems to want to warm them, but is rough when they come out. I did take them away this morning and they are in the house with me now. Btw, the other girls are buff orpington Jules (the crazy brrody of which I speak, and two barred rocks, charlotte and darlene, (who want nothing to do with rearing chicks, but contibute to the buffs cause by laying in her nest every day! ). The three new babies are americaunas, which I suspect are actually easter eggers, but am not picky, just wanted different colored girls who lay colored eggs! I do treat my gals as pets and would be devasted if she killed one of our new babies!
     
  5. gander007

    gander007 Chicken Obsessed

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    Sounds like a new mommy and it would have been better if she had hatched out one chick first but she is just being protective and should settle down ......
     
  6. jencoons

    jencoons Out Of The Brooder

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    So should I put them back out with her tonight?
     
  7. gander007

    gander007 Chicken Obsessed


    Oh yes as she jus needs to get comfortable with them and sometimes it takes several tries .....
     
  8. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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    You need to make this call. She could hurt one or all of them. New Momma's have been known to kill their babies. So just be careful. When in doubt, remove them. :)
     
  9. Mountain Peeps

    Mountain Peeps Change is inevitable, like the seasons Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC! Please make yourself at home and we are here to help.

    X2 on Two Crow's advice.
     
  10. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Overrun With Chickens

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    Welcome to BYC! [​IMG]We're glad to have you. X3 on TwoCrows advice.
     

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