Need help blending broody and babies with old flock mate.

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by flakey chick, Apr 9, 2009.

  1. flakey chick

    flakey chick Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 3, 2007
    Florida
    I had a broody inside with 2 bitties because mama was not able to defend her babies from the other hen. Now they are 4 + weeks old & mostly feathered. Today I penned the babies separately inside the the tractor where the hens could see them, but not get at them. I think it was way to stressfull for the mama who was always at the bottom of the pecking order. I let them out to free range together. She lets her "son" eat with her, but attacks her other little one if it comes anywhere near. It seems to be quite a bit more than a light peck, vicious (but not blood).

    Tonight I put the 2 hens together in the tractor and the babies are inside with a light. I don't know what to do. I was going to put all of them together in the tractor, with a roosting box that the babies can hide in. Now that mama is attacking her little one, I don't think that's such a good idea.

    They are all bantams. The tractor is 4' X 6' run area, with a 2' X 4' upstairs house. The babies were in a 3' X 3' cage in the run (leaving just 15 square feet of run for the hens). What shold I do?
     
  2. FarmerDenise

    FarmerDenise Chillin' With My Peeps

    810
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    149
    Apr 21, 2007
    Sonoma County
    When a momma is ready for her babies to grow up, she can get quite mean. It is her way of saying it is time for you to be on your own.
    When I introduce the little ones into the flock, I provide them with a place to get away from the big ones. I happen to have a milk crate that has big enough openings for the chicks, but not the hens. I even feed the little ones in there, so they can get their chick starter in peace.
     
  3. flakey chick

    flakey chick Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 3, 2007
    Florida
    That's kind of what I had been planing on doing. Mama laid an egg yesterday, so I know she is ready. What concerns me is how differently she treats the 2. The one she picks on is the more submissive of the 2. I checked it over and it didn't seem to be sickly (or seriously hurt) in anyway. I think she is female and the other is male (based on leg width).

    I think I will keep the babies inside tomorrow, then blend them when I can supervise more this weekend.
     

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