New chicks with established chickens.


9 Years
Oct 15, 2010
I am relatively new to BYC....started w/chicks in March, but I grew up with lots of Leghorns on the ranch. Recently I purchased a few fertilized eggs to incubate under a couple of my Frizzles that had gone broody. One of the other Frizzles got in and ate a fertilized egg so I separated her from the group fearing that she would start eating eggs all the time. When I tried to put her back with the group, they jumped on her pulling out her feathers. She, in turn, started jumping on the more "chicken" of the chickens! I understand that this probably has to do with reestablishing the pecking order but I am worried for the chicks when they hatch in a few days. I am afraid that the surrogate mothers will not be able to protect the babies. I wanted to separate the mothers and babies, for their safety, in a portable coup w/rabbit wire so the chicks can't get out. I'm afraid if I do that though, I will never be able to reintroduce them to the flock. (Judging by the flock's reaction to the hen that had been gone for a couple of weeks.) Also, if I move the nest boxes before the chicks are hatched, will the hens stop sitting?? I appreciate any insight/info you can give me.
You're right, they are re-establishing the pecking order. I would move the broodies nests at night, but I think if you leave them in with the other hens, they probably will not be able to protect the chicks. Let them work the pecking order out after they've raised the chicks for a few weeks, they'll do fine. I wouldn't put the chicks in there with them unless seperated with a brooding box until they are old enough to fend for themselves ( usually when they are about the same size). JMO. Good Luck!
Thankyou. Eggs are hatching as we speak.

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