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Will a hen with chicks harm new chicks introduced into the flock?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by chickenmomma2, Mar 10, 2013.

  1. chickenmomma2

    chickenmomma2 Chirping

    May 27, 2012
    28 days ago one of my hens hatched 5 chicks. She has great maternal instincts and takes very good care of them. She is a Buff. Yesterday, I took the 4 chicks I hatched in an incubator 10 days ago out to the coop. She heard them peeping loudly and came at me puffed up like I was hurting them. I put them in a nursery area outside the coop so they could get some sunshine and give me a chance to set up the nursery in the coop.

    My question is; will she hurt these babies or will she protect them from the other chickens in the coop?

    She has returned to her roost pole and her babies go up with her and snuggle under her.

    I have the 4 10 day olds in a nursery in the coop....segarated from the rest.

    Thanks for your advice.

  2. Den in Penn

    Den in Penn Songster

    Dec 15, 2011
    SE Pa.
    It is very unlikely that she will adopt the ten day olds. Hers are much older and she now knows them well. The best you could hope for if you put them in with her is that she tolerates them. The rest of the flock I doubt would be easy on them at this young age.
  3. WalkingOnSunshine

    WalkingOnSunshine Crowing

    Apr 8, 2008
    I think both the broody hen and the rest of the flock would kill 10-day old chicks.

    That being said, I have heard of mama hens adopting every chick in the coop, even to the point of stealing them from other hens. If you are lucky enough to get one of these exceptional hens, congratulations!
  4. chickenmomma2

    chickenmomma2 Chirping

    May 27, 2012
    Thank you for your advice. I'll just keep them separated. Momma Hen has taken her babies up on the roost and the other chickens aren't pleased with the interlopers. I think she has enough to deal with. Thanks again.
  5. A broody hen will only take new-born chicks
  6. As you almost discovered hens will often accept chicks younger than he own but if the new chicks are older than her own she will almost always reject them, often violently as she views older chicks as a danger to her own younger chicks. It is worth a lookey see to determine if she will adopt those younger chicks.
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2013
    1 person likes this.

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