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Motherly Love - hen no longer interested in being a mum

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by james w, May 18, 2009.

  1. james w

    james w In the Brooder

    Nov 6, 2007
    Lucca, Italy
    4 weeks ago one of my hens hatched a batch of chicks. 10 in all. All of the chicks made it and seem to be growing well. Two strange things have happened though which I would like some advice on:

    1) After about 2 weeks I found one of the chicks outside of the coop. I picked it up and put it back inside. Immediately the hen started chasing it and pecking it. I took the chick and had a quick look. I noticed quite a lot of blood on the skin. So I imagined that the reason the chick was outside in the first place was because the hen had chased it out.

    2) The hen now goes wandering around the property. I thought that maybe she wanted the opportunity to take her chicks around and show them about the place. But the chicks do not follow her. This morning I noticed that even when they are together, she shows little interest and in actual fact pecks any chicks that get too near.

    Is it time to put the hen back in with the flock or should I leave the hen and her chicks to themselves. I am a little worried about cats picking the little fellers off. No other predators to worry about.

    Any info on these two points would be great.


  2. Judy

    Judy Crowing Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Yes, I would say it is time. She has decided they are grown and has kicked them out of the house. Hens vary so much in how good of a mother they are. And I agree that cats will certainly take small chicks. Guess you will just have to be Mum til the chicks are bigger.
  3. chickenguysmom

    chickenguysmom Songster

    I have a post currently about Broodies kicking chicks to the curb. My broody just alienated the 6 week old suspected cockeral. She jumped on his back and pecked his back. When he tried to defend himself, she chased him off. Now, he is on his own.

    It is so sad. He just hides in the bushes or near the compost heap. I hate it for him as we will need to rehome him or cull him, just because he is male. It makes me feel sorry for all roosters, being killed just because you were born male.
  4. Judy

    Judy Crowing Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Quote:It is not necessarily because he is male that she singled him out. Hens will attack a defective bird, we do know. Maybe she knows something we can't. Then again, maybe she just doesn't like him....
  5. Chicken Fruit

    Chicken Fruit Songster

    Feb 25, 2009
    Echo Homestead
    Some hens are not long term mothers. I'd say she's not. Id put the chicks in a brooder for a couple weeks and put momma away with the rest of the chickens.
  6. I agree that you will have to be mom for a few weeks. Some hens just don`t make good mothers. I wouldn`t let her hatch any more........Pop
  7. chickenguysmom

    chickenguysmom Songster

    Actually, he is quite big and has been living with the 'herd' for about 3 weeks. And he is self sufficient. So putting him inside is kinda a moot point.

    She wasn't a bad mother, she was a very good mother. I just think size wise he out grew her. She is a silkie/cochin mix and is not that big herself. But she is head hen and does not like competition from him. Her little pullet (guess) cowers to her pecks and she likes the pullet. He doesn't cower, he puffs his neck feathers and stands tall. GO ROO! She needs a good @$$ whooping, bossy broody.

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