Why is mom hen trying to kill 6 week old chick ?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Bunny Babe, Jun 13, 2010.

  1. Bunny Babe

    Bunny Babe Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 28, 2008
    Rome, GA
    Why is a hen trying to kill her 6 wk old ? I have Lavender Cochins and raised them last summer. No problems. Now, I have a hen who hatched only 2 chicks in May. The chicks are approx 6 wks old now & still with mom in a cage of their own. I tried mixing them all with
    the pack last week and they were chased and pecked on by the older ones ... so I put momma hen and her 2 young back in their nesting pen.
    Today, mom hen began pecking and jumping on one of her chicks. The chick is now a good size, so it has been able to get away from her
    and run and hide under the sleeping box. I was afraid she was going to kill it, so I removed mom from the pen and put her back with her crew she use to be with .... but her crew chased her badly and pecked on her ..... and it is in the high 90's here today. She was panting badly and so very hot ..... so I thought she might stroke out on me .... so I brought her back to the pen with her 2 chicks ..... and after a few minutes of resting in her pen, she began to attack the one chick again. The chicks are about 6 wks old now. I had to remove the hen again. I put her in another large pen with one Roo and one hen. The Roo likes her ... the hen does not. Now momma hen is the one being chased and pecked on ... but not too badly ... the hen in this pen is a sweet girl and she is not hurting the momma hen too badly yet.
    I am going out now to check on them before dark ... I will return to check on your replies.
     
  2. Kittymomma

    Kittymomma Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 9, 2009
    Olympia, WA
    With six weeks old chicks she is probably just trying to tell you she's done being mommy. I don't know what your set up looks like, but if possible pen everybody up next to each other for a few days or a week (I go longer for new intros, but a few days is usually enough for a broody coming back) and then put them all together at night. If you have enough room in your coop/run you could even put a few "hiding places" for the chicks and put them together now.

    I try to keep my broody girls in with the flock or at least close enough so they can all see each other through the whole process because it makes it sooo much easier when it's time for complete integration. That's not possible for everyone though and some chooks are much more aggresive then mine seem to be so ultimately you'll just have to watch them and use your best judgment on what will work for you. Best of luck, it's the pits when integration doesn't go well.
     
  3. Bunny Babe

    Bunny Babe Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 28, 2008
    Rome, GA
    Thank you kitty momma ..... good advise. I was thinking this could be the problem. The momma hen has been pacing in the pen as if she is wanting out of this pen .....so I guess this is another sign she is done being a mom. She is accustom to a big run prior to setting. And yes ... I do have room to set up some hiding places in the big run when I move them back to the run. Did not know about setting up "hiding places" for them. Good thought ... I will do this. In the big run they have a ramp and nice 8x8 playhouse they go into when it rains and at night to sleep.... therefore, I had never fixed any hiding places for them. They have deer net over top of fence to protect from hawks ... so I did not have a need for hiding places. But, I can see where this will help now.
    Thank you so much for taking the time to advise.
     

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