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mother hen charging chicks

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by carolinachicken, Apr 20, 2007.

  1. carolinachicken

    carolinachicken Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 20, 2007
    Lancaster, SC
    hi everyone!

    i'm new to the group, and chickens, so let me lay out a bit of the background as to how we became chicken parents. (shortened version).

    a stray chicken came beside the steps at our front door and laid 11 eggs! she sat on them for three weeks and they hatched! (except two). we arranged an old shed to be their coop, so we spent a saturday morning getting the group into the coop. they are now 5 weeks old and it seems that we may have 5 boys and 4 girls.
    everything has been fine, chicks following mum everywhere, until the last couple of days.
    she starting bawking yesterday and i couldn't understand it. she also started charging the chicks and now they are terrified of her. this morning my husband and i went in the coop and found an egg! we took it out hoping that this will get rid of her perhaps being protective. i've been watching her and she's still charging them. though i do think that it might be the boys more than the girls.

    can anyone tell me what to do?? i don't know a thing and i sure do not want to have any injuries or traumatized young boys and girls.

    thank you!
    :)>)=
     
  2. keljonma

    keljonma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 12, 2007
    8A East Texas
    Make sure they aren't crowded and maybe set up another feeder and waterer. The mama should be getting layer feed and oyster shell for good health and strong egg shells. The chicks should not be eating the same food, because the extra calcium is too much for their growing systems.

    If she's laying eggs again and charging the chicks, she is ready for the chicks to leave the nest.
     
  3. carolinachicken

    carolinachicken Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 20, 2007
    Lancaster, SC
    thanks for the answer.

    what exactly do you mean leave the nest??

    do they need another coop? the space they are in right now is about 20' by 12'.

    we do plan to sell/give all the young roosters away once were sure which are which.

    sigh...there is so much to learn.

    thanks!
    :)>)=
     
  4. keljonma

    keljonma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 12, 2007
    8A East Texas
    No I don't think you need another coop. If you have just mama and the 9 chicks, they have plenty of room in that size coop. Usually, I think the chicks at this point would be hanging out with the "rest of the flock", not just mom. Like any animal mom, she's done with them and wants to move on.

    Do they ever run your yard? Or are they always in the hen house or run? Maybe you could let mom have some time by herself by lettting her out or just the chicks out.

    Hopefully, someone has come across this situation before and can give you some better help.
     
  5. carolinachicken

    carolinachicken Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 20, 2007
    Lancaster, SC
    hi keljonma,

    we don't have a 'rest of the flock', just the mother and her 9 chicks. but i'm sure that you are right. you can't blame her for wanting to some 'personal time'. hee, hee...

    let me correct the size of the chicken area. it's 10' by 14'. the hen house has an open side so they walk out onto the ground. (but it is fenced in and has an aluminum roof). half chickhouse/half yard.

    i think that we'll try letting mum out first and see how that goes.

    thanks!
    :)>)=
     
  6. SpottedCrow

    SpottedCrow Flock Goddess

    That's my take too...
    In the wild, LOL, they'd be part of the flock and she'd be setting again or laying again.
     

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