Mum Pecking at new baby

Bex_01

In the Brooder
Apr 26, 2018
26
21
44
South Australia
Hi, I have a Mum sitting on now 5 eggs and 1 chick has hatched. She keeps pecking at the baby on the head which is making it squeal. I don't know if she is doing this because she is protecting it from me and trying to get it back under her or if she may actually be trying to hurt it. She doesn't seem to be "chatting" to It either. I do have a area set up with a heat lamp should I move it and let her keep sitting on eggs and then try to reintroduce later or should I leave it. This is her first time. (And mine)
 

SongBaby33

~In Memory Of Songbaby, A Wonderful Hen~
Nov 15, 2018
922
10,689
722
My Coop
I had a hen called Song baby she was sitting on eggs and the day came when the chicks hatched and the first one to hatch she was pecking it on the head it went back under her feathers when she pecked it and then she stopped she only pecked it when it came out from under her feathers
 

Bex_01

In the Brooder
Apr 26, 2018
26
21
44
South Australia
I had a hen called Song baby she was sitting on eggs and the day came when the chicks hatched and the first one to hatch she was pecking it on the head it went back under her feathers when she pecked it and then she stopped she only pecked it when it came out from under her feathers
Thanks, My girls name is Beaker (fitting) she seems to have settled down now and I have left everything be. I'm just super nervous about these babies because unfortunately my dog killed their dad a couple of weeks ago and these babies will be his only offspring. I'm really hoping we will end up with a Nugget jr.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
7 Years
Nov 27, 2012
80,093
89,572
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SW Michigan
My Coop
I don't know if she is doing this because she is protecting it from me and trying to get it back under her or if she may actually be trying to hurt it.
Can be hard to tell.
Was chick out from underneath her?
Could be first hatch jitters on her part...glad she settled down.
Best to keep an eye on them.

she seems to have settled down now and I have left everything be.
Good move.
Curious, is broody tolerant of you checking out her nest?
I try to get them used to me handling(checking underneath and touching) them while they are setting. Makes it much easier to monitor, and intervene if necessary.

Best of cLuck!! :fl
 

Bex_01

In the Brooder
Apr 26, 2018
26
21
44
South Australia
Can be hard to tell.
Was chick out from underneath her?
Could be first hatch jitters on her part...glad she settled down.
Best to keep an eye on them.

Good move.
Curious, is broody tolerant of you checking out her nest?
I try to get them used to me handling(checking underneath and touching) them while they are setting. Makes it much easier to monitor, and intervene if necessary.

Best of cLuck!! :fl
Yes she lets me pat her and put my hands underneath her, she growls sometimes but has never pecked me. Another question.... she has stopped touching baby but is pecking quite hard at a pipped egg.... is this normal?
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
7 Years
Nov 27, 2012
80,093
89,572
1,627
SW Michigan
My Coop
Yes she lets me pat her and put my hands underneath her, she growls sometimes but has never pecked me. Another question.... she has stopped touching baby but is pecking quite hard at a pipped egg.... is this normal?
That's good.
Ehhh...have not seen nor heard of that...sounds like she has some newbie neurosis.
Not sure what to tell you.
Maybe @Lady of McCamley or @fisherlady can help?
 

fisherlady

Crowing
7 Years
Dec 22, 2012
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Northern Indiana County, Pennsylvania
We have had first time hens try to assist hatching and usually ok but if you see blood on the pipped area then it is too soon.
We try to not bother the hens when hatching, best thing about broodies is just letting mother nature do the work, but have seen the activity when in the coop doing other stuff.
Hens, especially first timers, can have trouble transitioning from 'setting mode' to 'hatching mode' to 'mother mode'. Their hormones are in an uproar and they are agitated easily. Try to just watch that the baby doesn't get scared or bothered when out from under her and assist it with getting back under if needed, but after a couple trips out it should have the hang of it.
If she draws blood on the chick and doesn't settle soon then prepare a brooder in case you do have to remove the chicks. It is rare but there are sometimes hens who just don't transition to mother mode and can't handle the chicks.
Good luck!
 

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