Older Hen Pecks New Mother

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by BigBlueEgg, Nov 7, 2015.

  1. BigBlueEgg

    BigBlueEgg New Egg

    Nov 7, 2015
    We have a new mother of 9 chicks that are about 5 days old. They are in a coop with 4 other hens. When they are all outside, we have noticed that when the mother squats down with the chicks under her to warm them up, one of the other hens will come over and start pulling feathers out of the mother's neck. The mother doesn't do much (she was lower in the pecking order originally.) Just wondering if this is a problem. The hens are perfectly fine with the chicks and don't even seem to mind if the chicks come over and try to peck at the same things they are pecking at. We also saw the mother viciously attack the one hen that was/is lower in the order than she was (not sure if it did anything to a chick or not.)

    Thanks for the advice.
  2. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Flockless Premium Member

    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    I'm no expert but it seems to be relatively normal. My alpha hen will peck at a hen that i have removed from a nest after she has laid an egg (some start to go broody, so i remove them from the nest) as the hen assumes a squatting position for a short time.

    As long as there is no bloodshed, i would not worry too much.

    I prefer to use my alpha hen for hatching - protection of chicks and access to food etc is guaranteed! (other members state that they have subordinate hens hatch without any issues, i should add).

  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Not unusual for the broody mama to have some pecking order battles after hatching.
    As long as they are not prolonged or bloody just leave them to it.
    I've had to break up a few.

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