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Training Aggressive Broody to Work with Kids

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by centrarchid, May 16, 2017.

  1. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    I have need for broody hens with chicks that will be used for educating kids. My default approach is to pull from a pool of hens reared in part for the purpose. If special rearing methods not used hens can be very aggressive in defense of broods and these guys can literally fly at your face. Owing to recent downsizing the number of hens available is reduced so will attempt to use an outsourced game hen. Hen shown below. My kids will be helping with effort. She has already "put it to me" a couple of times when changing waterer and feeder. She is starting to relax but still growly.


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    Last edited: May 16, 2017
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  2. scottcaddy

    scottcaddy Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    They grow so fast. That is a 55 Gal. drum the cage is on, right?
    I had one broody that still growled at me after 5 broods and would bite the hand that fed her 1st thing in the morning.
    Let us know how she does, can you?
    Scott
     
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  3. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Yes, a 55-gal drum. Keeping birds out of reach of mice and now snakes at night. Also good ergonomics for me. Out feeding protocol has free-choice access to chick starter and hand-feeding with live meal worms three times daily, first before school, second at end of workday and third just before dark. Chicks always with crops topped off. Today, after work, group will be released and my son will help hen scratch up bugs for chicks for an hour or so. Then they will be directed back into pen.
     
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  4. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Hen with brood released as planned. Hen immediately went over to dust bath. Chicks interacted with kids as she did so.

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    Chicks very strongly oriented on pen and retreated to it even when placed in a new location 20 feet from original.

    Hen flogged me multiple times but leaving kids alone with exception of threats directed at daughter. Floggings may have been directed at phone / camera.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2017
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  5. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Chicks now 8 days post-hatch. After a couple days rough weather I released them to forage. Prior to birds leaving barn we fed them meal worms. Hen no longer flogs. I think camera riles her. Insect forage abundance very high. So not ranging far.

    Hen concentrate her foraging efforts around dirt pile the free-range birds dust bath in and kids use as a play area. Hen makes no effort to move away from playing kids. MY three year old daughter then started to try and drive hen away. Hen stood her ground. Daughter displayed her inner ape as they skirmished back and forth. Ended in stale mate. Daughter then tried to grab chicks. She does not listen well. Hen will get her at some point. I would never have been able to do such growing up because hens were flat out too willing to flog my butt.
     
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  6. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    End day at end of free-range period the hen is now flying back up into pen nearly 4' above ground. Chicks only capable of just over half that. That will change by weekend.
     
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  7. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Time to get chicks and hen trained up for flight table. Cage will be placed on large table. Entire lot will be trained to exit pen and return to it on cue. Latter essential so we can rapidly pack up and go after an event. Will make video once mastered. Only 3.5 weeks until brood weaned. Will be tough get another ready in that interval. Three hens already being setup to rear so hopefully at least one will be ready. One hen spurred so might provide more interesting discussion.
     
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  8. scottcaddy

    scottcaddy Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    Yes, a spurred hen will start alot of discussion.
    Looking forward to the video.
    Thanks for the update!
    Scott
     
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  9. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Just for clarification, hen is no longer aggressive. She even allows dogs to walk close by now without issue. She still attacks other hens that come within 10 feet of brood.
     
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  10. scottcaddy

    scottcaddy Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    Will she still attack the camera?
    Scott
     

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