New momma won't let other hens into the coop

Cordelia9

Hatching
6 Years
Jun 18, 2013
7
0
7
So... I was following the directions in a small-scale poultry book by Harvey Ussery, and let one of my broody hens sit on a few eggs in a dog kennel in our greenhouse. She is now the proud and extremely protective momma of one little yellow fuzzball (the other two eggs were duds). I'm happy, because now I know I have a reliable broody hen, and if I want to, I can buy and hatch fertilized eggs. Yay for that! Ussery recommends moving the hen and peeps out of the broody hut and into the main coop as soon as all the eggs are hatched and chicks are dry, and any remaining eggs are confirmed duds. So that's what I did. I moved my hen and her chick into the coop yesterday afternoon, she immediately installed herself and the chick in one of the nest boxes, and she's been taking excellent care of it-- she takes it to eat and drink and sits on it between times to keep it warm.

HOWEVER, today, when the other hens try to enter the coop to lay eggs, she goes "bup bup bup" and poofs up to three times her regular size. If the other hens persist and keep trying to come in the door, she jumps up and chases them out.

Is this something where I should just give them a couple days to work out their chicken politics? They all managed to get in the coop last night to sleep, so she's not keeping them out 100%. Is it just that I need a bigger coop to use Ussery's method? I have five hens and a rooster, all free-ranging (we live in the back end of nowhere, so no neighbors to bother), and a fairly small coop.

What do I do? Any ideas?
 

BMiles

In the Brooder
6 Years
Jan 31, 2013
39
2
34
Fallbrook, Ca
I moved my broody to a rabbit hutch to lay and hatch her eggs. It is in the main coop. Once they hatch i plan to keep her and her chicks in there for the first few weeks. Then depending on how all the hens/chicks are behaving with each other I will let them out of the hutch.
 

Cordelia9

Hatching
6 Years
Jun 18, 2013
7
0
7
UPDATE: OK, she kindly solved the problem for me by taking the chick for an outing in the yard, once the day got warm enough for her. She is happily showing little chick how to scratch and dust bathe, and the other hens have been slipping into the coop to lay eggs while mother hen is out. Soooo glad that seems to be resolved.
 
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