Momma is getting picked on...what do I do???

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by carolynb, Dec 28, 2009.

  1. carolynb

    carolynb Chicken Kisser

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    May 18, 2009
    Raynham
    Since the chicks have hatched we have had them in the coop - in a box - where they can be seen by the other chickens. We are attempting to introduce the chicks to the flock and re-introduce momma back. We cut a hole in the box large enough for the chicks to get back into for safety. Our other chickens seem to be leaving the chicks alone, but pecking on momma. Momma has never been too high in the pecking order and is getting pecked on enough that she is trying to get back in the box. We don't know what to do at this point, this is our first time using a broody hen and trying to reintegrate her to the flock. We welcome any suggestions. Thanks!
     
  2. Garden Gal

    Garden Gal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 11, 2009
    Virginia
    You might try seperating the momma for right now and then tonight introducing her back into the coop after dark. Just set her on the roost. I did this when I had to join to small groups of young ones and it went just fine. Good luck!
     
  3. carolynb

    carolynb Chicken Kisser

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    May 18, 2009
    Raynham
    Because of where we are located and how young the chicks are (3 1/2 weeks) she still needs to sit on them to keep them warm. Thank you for your suggestion though! [​IMG]
     
  4. lauralou

    lauralou Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 10, 2007
    Central Virginia
    Is it possible to wire off a small area inside the coop just for the momma and babies? So they can see each other, but the flock can't touch them?

    Or do you maybe have a large dog crate that you could set in there to hold them all for a while?

    Sorry, that's all I can think of. I usually use broodies who are very high on the pecking order, and pretty much let them stay with the flock the entire time.

    I'm so sorry for your sweet little momma. [​IMG]
     
  5. carolynb

    carolynb Chicken Kisser

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    May 18, 2009
    Raynham
    Thanks, lauralou! They are currently in the coop separated (in a box with hardware cloth so the others can see them). Is it too soon to actually let them out? We will consider which hens we use in the future to hatch... [​IMG]
     
  6. lauralou

    lauralou Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 10, 2007
    Central Virginia
    I really don't know the answer to that.

    If their mother isn't aggressive enough to protect them from the other hens, I would worry. I think it was very smart of you to give the babies a place to escape the adults.

    Maybe if you can find the time, just sit out with them for a while and see how they interact. If it seems too rough, it probably is. As I'm sure you know, there will always be pecking, and the younger birds get the short end of the stick in that department. As long as they aren't really getting hurt, everything may be fine.

    On the other hand, if they still need their momma to keep them warm at night, it may be a good idea to keep them locked up with her for a while longer.

    The best advice I can give you is to use your own good judgement, and try to err on the side of caution. They're still pretty small and vulnerable at that age.
     
  7. carolynb

    carolynb Chicken Kisser

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    May 18, 2009
    Raynham
    We let them out twice yesterday and sat in the coop to watch...they seem to be fine with the chicks, just peck at momma. She seems to have won a couple of squabbles, but sometimes tries to run back into the hole in the box (which she can't fit in as it's designed for the chicks). I am just unsure how to integrate them. Has anyone dealt with this before - having a broody that isn't on the top of the pecking order? Thanks again for any suggestions!! [​IMG]
     

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