Mother picking on chicks

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Babyban, Jul 21, 2011.

  1. Babyban

    Babyban In the Brooder

    May 24, 2011
    Hi I have a question. I have two hens they laid three eggs between them and they all hatched. both hens have been looking after all three chicks. Two of the chick are white and one is grey/lavendar. they are bantam pekins. the largest of the hens started to pick on the grey chick when he was only a few days old she did this for about a week. Then she stopped and they all got on fine. they are now six weeks old and she is picking on the same chick again. The chick is frightened of her and runs all over the coop if she comes near. I wondered why she is doing this it was her egg and she hatched it although it was the last to hatch. Is there anything I can do to stop it. I have only had chickens since May this year and was so happy when all three eggs hatched. I don't want to loose one chick now.
  2. BettyR

    BettyR Songster

    Mar 1, 2008
    Texas Gulf Coast
    I don't know why she would do that but the only way you can stop it is to separate the hen that is doing the picking from the rest until the chick is old enough to take care of itself. Just make sure when you separate her that you put her someplace where she can still see the other chickens or you will have trouble with them fighting when you put them back together.

    I have a large "hospital/brooder" pen that stays inside the chicken house that I put injured chickens in. It is a frame covered with hardware cloth around the sides and a hinged top made of light weight siding. The other chickens can see inside and are around the caged chicken when they go in to lay and roost, it works very well. It also doubles as a brooder and so that by the time the chicks are old enough to go out with the big girls the older chickens are familiar with and used to being around they new girls. That way there is not fighting when the new group joins the old group.
  3. At six weeks old, the mother hen is telling the chicks that it is time to be on their own, she has taught them everything they need to go out in the coop and run to take care of themselves, and since they are fully feathered, they don't need her for warmth any longer. Most broody hens will push the chicks away between four and six weeks. Chicks raised by a broody are much more able to deal with the elements and finding food than brooder raised chicks. It's the same as a mother song bird will push the baby birds out of the nest when they are old enough to fly.

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