Mother hen pecking chicks

SusannaW

Hatching
Jul 16, 2020
4
2
8
Hi,
We have a hen with 2 three week old chicks (we bought fertilised eggs for her) who had never had chicks before. Recently, she has started pecking them, she has even caused one of them to bleed a little. Up until this point she has been a devoted mum. We keep her in a small run most of the day separated from the other hens but we allow her to have a run around in the larger enclosure for a couple of hours once we have put the other hens away every day.
We have never had chicks before so any advice would be appreciated.
Thank you 😊
 

SusannaW

Hatching
Jul 16, 2020
4
2
8
:welcome It sounds as if she and the chicks need more space. She may be starting to wean them early.
Ok thank you :)
We are going to try and let them out more for the time being and try and figure out a way to provide them with a larger run
At what age should she be weaning them?
 

sourland

Broody Magician
Premium Feather Member
11 Years
May 3, 2009
105,971
252,515
1,887
New Jersey
3 weeks is generally a little early, but some hens do wean earlier than others. Is she indicating that she wants to return to the flock ?
 

SusannaW

Hatching
Jul 16, 2020
4
2
8
I would let her rejoin to tbe coop with the other chickens at this stage.
I hope she is not weaning them this early , your broody will be the best way to get those chicks intigrated into the flock.
Once she weans them it will be doubly hard for the chicks to intigrate on their own.
We let her and the chicks out into the large run today (by themselves). She did still peck them very occasionally however she was still calling them over to eat and didn’t seem to want to join the rest of the flock. I believe the above user was right and it’s a space issue.
Do you think it would be best to introduce them to the other hens now? The mother is very dominant (near the top of the pecking order) - we did try to introduce one of the other less dominant hens and she was attacked by the mother hen (admittedly after going near the nest and eating their food 😅). Would it be best to introduce the others one by one or all at once?
Thank you 😊
 

50-45-1

Crowing
12 Years
I would put her and the chicks in and let her get along with the introductions. Like I've said, once she has weaned them they will be on their own and it's better if they have a fierce protector for this.
I also recommend you seriously get a plan for enlarging the coop and run as crowding chickens never has a good outcome.
 

SusannaW

Hatching
Jul 16, 2020
4
2
8
I would put her and the chicks in and let her get along with the introductions. Like I've said, once she has weaned them they will be on their own and it's better if they have a fierce protector for this.
I also recommend you seriously get a plan for enlarging the coop and run as crowding chickens never has a good outcome.
OK thank you I will try letting them mix tomorrow and see how it’s goes.
Space wise we are normally fine - the chickens have plenty of space to run around don’t worry! We have two chicken runs and coops (for the chicks and chickens) and a much larger ‘enclosure’ which they are let out into for most of the day. I believe the problem was that the chicks run and coop was a little small (we had been keeping them in there to separate them from the others) and since we have let them into the enclosure we’ve been having fewer problems. If we decide to get chicks again we will extend their run.
 

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom