Mother and chicks still together after 3 months - problem?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by dmeredith, Dec 28, 2012.

  1. dmeredith

    dmeredith Hatching

    May 3, 2011
    I have a hyper-broody Orpington hen that has hatched two sets of eggs. After the first group reached 6 weeks, she separated herself from them in textbook fashion ('leave me alone' peckings, foraging on her own, etc). However, the second group of two pullets is now 3 months old and she is still "helping" them find food, roosting together, and the like. I have no problem with it, but it's causing some pecking order "challenges" in that all of the other adult hens beat up on the three of them. I am looking for advice.

    Last edited: Dec 28, 2012
  2. Judy

    Judy Crowing Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Maybe doing something to shake up the pecking order would help. Maybe you could separate the lead bully or bullies for a day or two, or longer. I wouldn't separate the mama and chicks from the rest, or the chicks from the mama, unless I was going to make the separation permanent. If you can, you could try moving the whole flock for a week or so. We moved our whole flock into the garden for a month or two, to clean up the garden, and I noticed that it changed the group dynamics for the better.
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2012
  3. LeJeune1

    LeJeune1 Chirping

    Jul 25, 2011
    Allen Parish, LA
    I agree that moving a 1 or 2 of the ring leaders for a few days could help to re-establish the order. Keep us posted.
  4. dmeredith

    dmeredith Hatching

    May 3, 2011
    Thanks for the replies. There's only one ringleader, who is a very assertive Easter Egger. I'll move her out of the run for a couple of days and see if that brings stasis back to the flock. Will keep you posted.

    Last edited: Jan 1, 2013

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