Sneaking chicks under a chicken?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by CorralitosSunflower, Aug 5, 2009.

  1. CorralitosSunflower

    CorralitosSunflower Songster

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    Jun 24, 2009
    Corralitos
    So I recently got a new chicken, known for her broodyness. I tried putting her in with the rest of our chickens (who never go broody) along with four other newbies and she got pecked on relentlessly. She was able to escape to the roosts and I went in everyday to make sure she was able to eat and drink. One day I went in and she had been picked on so badly that the other chickens scalped her. Needless to say I seperated her and cleaned her up. She is now healed and we have built another coop for her but I don't want her to be lonely. I am wondering, she has a history of broodyness however she is not currently showing signs of it. Is it possible I could put some new chicks under her at night and have her take care of them? I want to try but am worried she will hurt them. Has anyone ever attempted this?
     
  2. pkeeler

    pkeeler Songster

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    Jul 20, 2008
    Shamong
    I would not try it unless the hen had been broody and sitting for 3 weeks. I think she will get lonely though. I would try getting some more adult birds in with her.

    How did you introduce her to the original flock?
     
  3. CorralitosSunflower

    CorralitosSunflower Songster

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    Jun 24, 2009
    Corralitos
    I put her, along with four other new chickens on the roosts at night when everyone was sleeping. I was out there the next morning at the crack of dawn to watch how things were going. There were fights, and our roo (not a nice one) was being very mean so we had to cull him (he was very old, not fertalizing anything anymore, and had attacked humans on a couple of occasions so this was his last straw). After that when I was around I only saw little fights that ended quickly and figured this was the normal way for them to figure out their new order. The one chicken, I call her mama, was never apart of the fights that I witnessed though, she was always up on the roosts. When I would let the rest of the flock minus the newbies out to freerange she would come down. About two weeks later I found her scalped. My thoughts are that they would have worked it out by now if they were ever going too. I am amazed though, two of the others I introduced were little bantams frizzles and I thought they would be the ones in trouble and they are holding their own just fine. I really wanted mama to raise some babies. I guess I need to wait until she goes broody, in the meantime she is right next to our duck pen, will this help keep her from getting to lonely?
     
  4. pkeeler

    pkeeler Songster

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    Shamong
    I had that happen to a polish cockerel. When the big crest feathers got wet, the others couldn't help but peck them out. Very sad.

    If they are free ranging, I would put her back and let them all work it out. Try not to get emotionally involved. If you can't help but get emotionally involved, maybe pick out one or two subdominant birds to join her.
     
  5. shuizar209

    shuizar209 Songster

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    Jul 11, 2009
    Riverside
    Def dont put chicks under her! You might wake up to an unpleasant surprise... if she hasnt been broody or just became broody its not a good idea... my rule of thumb is it takes 21 days to hatch a chick so the hen would have to be broody for 3 weeks.... I would put her back in with the rest and let them handle it.... the pecking order may not be pretty but thats how they do it.... when you introduce her back why not hang up a head of lettuce... they are more interested in jumping for the lettuce than picking on your hen.... GOOOOD LUCK!!!
     
  6. Mom2Cool

    Mom2Cool Songster

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    May 8, 2008
    I agree with the others in putting the hen back in with the others but you may want to first along them to just see her from opposite sides of a fence. I do that when introducing new chickens & I'll keep one in a pen within the chicken enclosure & the others go out the other door & are allowed to free range. After a week of that I'll allow the chicken in the enclosed area to come out & free range with the chickens during the day &/or the enclosure is now opened up. If she goes back to the single coop I let her do that & if she's comfy going in with the flock then she can do that. Also when I first let her out to free range I'll stand around for a bit just to make sure they're not really going to hurt her. I would not introduce any chicks to the situation until it's all under control. There is a "pecking order" but chickens have been killed in figuring out what that order is & if she's just healing now I would do a gradual re-introduction. Any over aggressive chickens here become soup.


    & BTW I LOVED the idea of the head of lettuce & that is an ecellent suggestion for when you allow her out the first time to free range with the others because it'll cause a distraction from her being out for the first time.... I'm going to have to remember that one.
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2009

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