Mum Hen picking on Chicks

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Denzel09uk, Jul 29, 2011.

  1. Denzel09uk

    Denzel09uk Hatching

    Jul 29, 2011
    Hi Im new to this forum and thought I would get some advice.

    I have had my chickens now for a month and I have a 1 Year old Mum with 4x 3 month old chicks which one is a cockerel.

    In the last couple of days I have noticed that the mum seems to be picking on all of them but more on the cockerel. We have a small buddlia in the run and the mum is now on one side of it and the chicks are on the other. Something from a comedy scene when they are chasing each other round it.

    Is the mum trying to push them away so they become more independant?
    I understand that there is a pecking order. My initial thought was that the chicks are becoming more confident and maybe trying to take over the rank but after sitting in there for about half an hour she is just picking on them.
    Any advice on the above.

    I noticed that the mum eats their feathers too and ive read on here that thats due to lack of protein.
    We feed all of them on Growing pellets along with some blackberrys tomato's and some crushed corn. Should I be feeding them on something different. I have a layer bag of food for when they get to 18 weeks old.

    I hope you guys can help

  2. janinepeters

    janinepeters Songster

    Jun 9, 2009
    Yes, she is trying to push them away because it is time for them to fend for themselves. The feather picking might be partly due to boredom, as it often is. You did not say anything about your coop set-up, how much space they have, whether they get to go out, etc., so I cannot say for sure.
  3. Denzel09uk

    Denzel09uk Hatching

    Jul 29, 2011

    Thanks for your response,

    We have a coop designed for 8 bantams which leads into a 2 metre by 3 m run fully caged in. They have a grass area and a bark area with a buddlia bush in the middle.

    We leave the door open at nights at the moment so they can go in and out whenever they want to.

    Thanks again for your reply I just wanted to make sure.


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