Should I take the chicks from her?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Godiva, May 23, 2008.

  1. Godiva

    Godiva Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a silkie pulllet who just hatched 4 chicks for me and did a great job. The problem is that she is very nervous of us (very little handling when young) and won't let me handle the chicks. They are a week old tomorrow and I am thinking of removing her from the scene and putting her back with the roo and raising the chicks under a light from now on so that I can tame them without their momma attacking me or freaking them out every time I try to handle them. What do you think? I wish I could leave them with her 'cos she's a great mom but I really want tame chicks...
     
  2. Wildsky

    Wildsky Wild Egg!

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    I wouldn't take them away - I think the benefits of having a mom raise chicks outweighs anything else.

    I would try handle the chicks just a little - in a few weeks she won't be AS overly protective of them.... and by four weeks she'll be trying to get them to separate from her - there is still time at that point to handle them and tame them down....
     
  3. froggy

    froggy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I feel your right to do this because they will be tame and not afraid of people
     
  4. Godiva

    Godiva Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Handling them would mean I would have to catch her and put her in a box so she can't create havoc and then handle the babies... like I don't have anything better to do with my time.... I have to agree though, the momma hen does such a good job with them just showing them the ropes and keeping them cozy etc... still not decided on this....
     
  5. Wildsky

    Wildsky Wild Egg!

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    I've not had first hand experience, my mom hen gets mad at me and she has pecked me once or twice but not overly agressive - I think my hen is more doing what nature intends, and I think everytime I pick up and touch one of her babies and put them back again unharmed, the more relaxed she'll be about me doing that.

    Perhaps someone else has first hand experience with a really grumpy un-tame mom..... or some suggestions to make it easier.

    Good Luck! [​IMG]
     
  6. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    In 4 - 6 weeks her maternal instinct will turn off. She will be done with the chicks and won't even act like their mother. They will become just some other chickens. You will be able then to handle them and get them accustomed to your hands.

    If you leave them with her she will teach them everything a chicken should know.

    If you take them you have to teach them everything they should know. Also you will have to wait until nearly 16 weeks of age to reintroduce them to the flock. Then they have to go through the establishment of a pecking order and the fights that introducing new chickens to the flock entail.

    They really are better off and under less stress if you leave them with her for now.
     
  7. Godiva

    Godiva Chillin' With My Peeps

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    When can I reintroduce them all to the main flock? When she is ready to be done with them or before so she can protect them? THere are only a very gentle roo, another cochin bantam hen with chicks same age? And two bantam cochins that are 5 weeks old in a brooder right now? How on earth do I coordinate all the introductions? Should I put them all together in one shot (planning on having them all in tractors close to each other so they can see each other until I am ready to put them together... And what is the best way to tame the chicks when they are done with momma? I have only dealt with day olds before....
     
  8. Sahara

    Sahara Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would definitely leave them with her. I took some away from one of my hens once and the hen died within two weeks. There was nothing wrong with her, I think it was the stress.

    As MissPrissy wrote, the mother hen will turn her back on them in a few weeks and you will be able to handle them as much as you desire.

    I have two batches of biddies right now and one of the hens is so mean when she has biddies that I get pecked to pieces just changing out her food. I wear gloves and always pick her up and the biddy. It doesn't help much but it lets her know who is the boss.

    The other set the mother hen is so easy going and I pick up all three of her biddies and her also with no pecking. The little chicks squeal but they will get used to me in time.
     
  9. alex

    alex Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dont take them away////they are hers and she deserves to care for them///just take them one byw one and handle them thats all...no need to take them away
     
  10. tnkinhunting

    tnkinhunting Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Here's what works for me - but I have broodies everywhere - I take the chicks and put them under one or two hens instead of five or six broodies fussing around the barn. In your situation with one broody I would let her raise them. When she kicks them out, you can step in and give them treats and they will get over their fear. Post some pic's of them! [​IMG]
     

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