Momma Hen Too Aggressive to Let Out With Flock?

The Chickens' Maid

Songster
10 Years
May 2, 2009
1,000
211
226
CT
I have an odd problem; I'd like to let my momma hen introduce her chicks into the flock, they are average a week old and have been out in the coop with momma and without other hens in with them. I tried to put my exceptionally floppy head hen in with them, to see if things would turn out alright. Well, apparently my sweet silkie isn't so sweet, and I know now why my head hen is the head hen. No one got hurt, I was there and stopped it within a few seconds. The silkie attacked the head hen who was not doing anything, and if she tries to do that again with almost any other hen in the coop (she is almost at the bottom of the pecking order) in will probably end up in blood. I'm worried most about the chicks being trampled during something like that. (Keeping hold of them is like popping popcorn with the lid off!)
I'm thinking of putting our rooster in with momma and the chicks instead; I doubt she would attack him. If she did, he would never hurt her; he's a little gentleman. And I would try to stay in there the whole time.
I'd like to get them integrated into the coop before they become pullets and cockerels, because, judging from my flock's past reactions, they may not take older chickens very well. I think it may be better if they could grow up with them. Momma's also very unhappy about staying in a kennel for most of the day. Does anyone have any ideas? Thanks!

Oh, and I've already showed the chicks to most of the hens, while I was holding both parties; the hens did not show any aggresiveness other than a this-is-so-that-you-know-that-you-are-lower-in-the-order-than-me peck. They seemed fine.
 

Lollipop

Songster
10 Years
Feb 12, 2009
3,107
85
244
Pike Co., GA & Palm Beach Co., FL
Well, your assumtions that the cock will be good is correct in most situations. However, hens are a grave danger to chicks in most intros and at the same time, any intrusion by a hen into mom`s space is gonna be met with the same results as you have witnessed. Most likely, if the intro was made in the run, or free range, things would go more smoothly. Soooo, my suggestion is to let the flock into the run and open the door for mom to take her brood out when she feels comfy. Most likely, anyone curious, that faces a scowling broody, will back off and give her space. Of course it`s important for you to be present to make sure nothing gets out of hand. The chicks should be at least 2 weeks old so they are mobile and can stay out of the way. Wish I could be there........Pop
 

The Chickens' Maid

Songster
10 Years
May 2, 2009
1,000
211
226
CT
I did let momma hen and the babies out with the rooster today. They more or less ignored each other. I was able to hold the rooster and put some of the chicks on his back to see what he would do. It was the most adorable thing; he really seemed to like them! He just sits there and lets them crawl all over him! Momma hen didn't care.
We kind of want to get the chicks used to the rooster especially, because one of the chicks has been acting very rooster-like. If he turns out to be a cockerel, we want the two of them to be on good terms.
Thanks for the reply; I have to chick-proof the outside coop anyway, so letting them out at two weeks would be good. Should I put a shelter outside that the chicks could get into if the hens bug them too much?
 

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