Will the other hens hurt the new chicks?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by babsh, Apr 27, 2009.

  1. babsh

    babsh Chillin' With My Peeps

    138
    0
    129
    Apr 30, 2008
    Minnesota
    Once my chicks hatch (under my very dedicated Silkie), do I have to keep her and chicks separated from the rest of the flock (I have 8 other birds)? She is separated right now, but it would be much more convenient to have them together. Could I just move her nest box back into the coop with the others after a few days, or will the other hens hurt the chicks?
     
  2. chickenlittle32

    chickenlittle32 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 19, 2009
    Rayne Louisiana
    All I can say is watch everyone. I have a Silkie with 3 chicks with the rest of my flock. Boy does she take care of her babies!!! She doesn't allow anything near her chicks. (and I have many chickens, roos, ducks, turkeys, goats, geese) It is so cute to watch them wonder around and then when she calls them, they come running!!!
     
  3. Chicks_N_Horses

    Chicks_N_Horses Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 30, 2009
    South Alabama
    I too think you should watch first. I have 3 hens in with my 30something chicks and they don't mind them a bit, or hurt them.
     
  4. pbjmaker

    pbjmaker Overrun With Chickens

    May 9, 2008
    Central Iowa
    I have had a hen kill anothers chick - so keep an eye on them. The hen that did it was broody though and the chick walked into her nest, might have had something to do with it. Everyone gets along fine now.
     
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

    19,965
    3,131
    476
    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    In my opinion, there are some risks in going either way. I personally think there are more reasons to let mama raise chicks with a flock than to isolate them, but there is one condition. Mama has to have enough room to work. Chicks raised with a flock normally develop better immune systems and don't have serious integration issues later on. There are always exceptions, such as what pbjmaker mentioned, but if mama has enough room to keep her chicks from underfoot of the other chickens, she will keep the others from hurting her babies. What normally happens is that one of the other chickens will peck at one of the babies, mama will severely reprimand the offending chicken, the lesson will be learned, and all chickens then leave the babies alone. The only reason I personally would not let mama raise them with the flock is if I thought mama does not have enough room to work with.
     
  6. babsh

    babsh Chillin' With My Peeps

    138
    0
    129
    Apr 30, 2008
    Minnesota
    Quote:OK, thanks. I think after the chicks are a day or two old I will move her nest back into the coop.

    Will it make any difference if this momma is at the bottom of the pecking order? Will she suddenly become more fierce? She's quite the docile bird.

    barb
     
  7. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

    19,965
    3,131
    476
    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    You'll hear stories both ways. It depends on how strong her protective instinct is and how aggressive the other chicken is. Most of the time the instinct will be strong enough, but there are always exceptions. They are living creatures. There are no guarantees either way.
     
  8. Picky Chicky

    Picky Chicky Chillin' With My Peeps

    965
    1
    141
    Sep 22, 2008
    Holly Grove, VA
    This is good information... my broody girl is due to hatch her eggs this weekend. My only concern is that she was never real high on the totum pole (she's one of two banty girls and the rest are standard).

    I'll keep a very close eye on them.
     
  9. babsh

    babsh Chillin' With My Peeps

    138
    0
    129
    Apr 30, 2008
    Minnesota
    Quote:Understood. I will move her back with the flock, but do it at a time I can sit and keep an eye on them. I have a feeling we'll be watching them A LOT anyway. This is a family endeavor and my kids can't wait!

    Barb
     
  10. stephhassler

    stephhassler Chillin' With My Peeps

    152
    1
    121
    Jan 30, 2009
    Eastern Iowa
    Picky Chicky - I'd love to hear how your banty does. I have a banty setting on some eggs also. They are not due to hatch for another 10 days or so. I'm worried about how she'll do with the babies because she is a banty and not very high in the pecking order. If you have time, please give an update on how your banty does. Thanks!
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by