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Mother aggressive towards chicks

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by RazorZroman, Sep 8, 2016.

  1. RazorZroman

    RazorZroman Just Hatched

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    I recently bought 3 chicks and decided to put them in a brooder, After 1 night I couldn't stand the noise and decided to put them in with my broody silkie and remove the eggs. They are sleeping under her and acting like normal chicks to their mother, but whenever they go under her, she pecks them and then continues to mother them. Is this something I should worry about because it is only the first day. I am not worried but I was wondering if I should be?
     
  2. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Chicken Obsessed

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    Is she pecking them hard? Are they screaming when she does it? Or is it just a light little single peck? I observed my broody doing a single light cursory peck to her chicks last summer, but she mothered them just fine. Curious to see what seasoned keepers of broody hens have to say.
     
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Sometimes a broody hen will discipline her chicks by pecking them. Maybe she is telling them don’t roam too far. Maybe she is saying get back under me where it is warm. Maybe she is saying “See that monster over there (meaning you). Get under me where it is safe. NOW!” It’s not that unusual for a broody hen to discipline her chicks so they will listen to her when she tells them something.

    Sometimes broody hens will kill their chicks. It’s really rare but it does happen. I don’t know why.

    One time I had a broody hen accept some incubator chicks I set under her and rejected others. She pecked the rejected ones, not to try to kill them but to run them away from her. I had to brood them myself.

    I don’t know what is actually happening to yours. Since she did not hatch them they did not bond during the hatching process. The chicks and broody hen start talking to each other when the chicks internal pip, well before they even external pip. By the time they have hatched they know each other. I suspect she is saying “I am your mother, even if you don’t know it yet. You’d better learn pretty quickly”. It’s something you need to watch and try to determine how vicious it is. Is she trying to hurt them or just get their attention?
     
  4. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    In Chicken World there are pecks and there are pecks. Chickens vocalize among themselves, but a lot of communicating is done with pecks.

    You need to watch your broody and determine how hard she's pecking the chicks. Watch her beak. A light "scooping" peck toward herself means "get under me where it's warm and safe". A swift but light peck straight down on the back of a chick means "get with the program and quit being naughty, or "listen to me, I'm your mother!"

    Later on as the chicks begin exploring, she may discipline them with a hard peck to the back. They're older now and can take a harder peck, and besides, they probably have earned it by stepping out of line. The other chickens will also discipline chicks in this manner.

    A broody that is psycho and wants to kill her chicks is going to be screeching while she hammers away at the poor little things. There won't be any doubt that she means them harm. Should you ever see that, remove the chicks from her immediately.
     
  5. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    [​IMG]

    Well, sometimes I smack my kiddos, but then continue to mother them [​IMG]

    Seriously, you got great advice above. I think she's just figuring things out. And remember, they don't have hands to touch each other. They use their beaks for all touching. It's not all bad. Just keep an eye on them, sounds like she's doing okay overall. give her some time.
     
  6. RazorZroman

    RazorZroman Just Hatched

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    No it is not hard, as I said, they are not her chicks, infact they are a totally different breed altogether. The do not scream but and they seem fine, I wasnt worried about the chicks, I was worried about the fact that they are being pecked. Thanks for the help. :)
     
  7. RazorZroman

    RazorZroman Just Hatched

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    Thanks, they do seem ok.
     
  8. RazorZroman

    RazorZroman Just Hatched

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    It is more of a straight peck and then they squeeze under her right after.
     
  9. FarmerMac

    FarmerMac Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have seen mine do the same thing to discipline their chicks. You may see this again once the chicks get older. The hen will peck at them to make them stay away and become independent. Some will peck them away earlier than others. I had one push the away in abut 3 weeks after they hatched. Others take care of them longer. One of my older hens, she is about 4-5 years, hatched some CCL eggs in May and still sound broody and is taking care of them.
     
  10. RazorZroman

    RazorZroman Just Hatched

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    Ok thanks. The thing is that I put my chicks in and 10 days old but the mother thinks that they are 3 days, does this make any difference?
     

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