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New Chicken Mom
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My flock is in chaos :( I started off with a rooster then added five hens. All was great until spring. First my smallest chicken died from an egg too big, it was horrible, but chalked it up for a learning experience. The rooster sat by my back door waiting for her to come out for days.

Then I had two hens go broody, so I seperated them with eggs under them. I only had one egg hatch out of ten eggs. I kept mama and baby together and reintroduced the other hen who had been sitting with no luck.

That leaves me three hens and a rooster outside. Well another hen decides to go broody and then I have two hens in one nestbox fighting over eggs. Tryed breaking them up several times and taking away eggs. One morning found the only chicken who didn't go broody, dead. I think the other two hens killed her while she tried to deposit an egg in their nest. I seperated the two broody ones putting one in a cage and leaving the other one out. At this point I am growing tired of these broody hens!!

I need to re-establish my flock again. I am running out of space and patience. Right now, I have two hens and a rooster in the coop. Mama hen is a kennel outside next to her one month old baby who is in a seperate kennel. And I have a week old chick in a box in the house. I had to take him from his mama, because he was injured after birth.

How do I reintroduce everyone and get back some peace in chickenland? The mama hen is being very protective and fighting the other two hens. She is now in a kennel where she can see them but not touch. Reestablishing the pecking order can be hard to watch sometimes.....any ideas??
 

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Space....lots of space. Instead of arranging all these little areas where you have to stick this one or that one to keep them separated, give them more space and put them all together.

It doesn't take much money to establish a safe free range paddock if you use electric poultry netting. They have their own stakes built right into the netting and it's a simple process.

Chickens are social animals and will establish their own, peaceful society if allowed to do so. Too many chickens in too small a space always makes for fighting, over stressed birds, inability to integrate ages and families.

Try it in your own house....make everyone live in the bathroom and only get to go out in the other parts of the house on occasion. See how quickly they get stressed, angry and start picking on one another. Now, separate them into all the little rooms and never let them socialize with one another....still unhappy? Of course.

Give them the whole house to roam in and group together when they wish and all the little rooms to go into when they don't want to socialize and the freedom to make those choices for themselves and suddenly you have a family that isn't so stressed anymore.
 

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New Chicken Mom
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I totally get that! I tried to let them all out back, but the mama hen was fighting the other hens and cracked her beak till she was bloody. I had to seperate her. I am hoping to let her out and try again. I do let the mama and her baby outfront everyday for exercise and a dust bath. I am scared to let them all outback in fear of fighting and losing another chicken. I was also under the impression not to let the babies be with the flock until they mature to two months.
 

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Gosh I wish I had some words to help you but I don't. =( You've already done everything I know of to do. Give them all a dose of xanax? ;) Just kidding. :p
 

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New Chicken Mom
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Chicken xanax I wish!! I went out and bought a big board today to seperate the backyard. When I got home my black beauty is back in the nesting box with her tail up and no eggs. Seriously wish things would settle down.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The board worked for most of the day. Mama flew over it and sat on my porch (highest point in yard) cackling for over an hour. I kept putting her back, but she wanted her presence known. At least the baby was safe behind the board and no one was injured today!! See what tomorrow brings?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I had let mama out with the flock yesterday and all went well. She slept in the coop last night, right next to the rooster, I might add. I moved her baby into the bigger kennel this morning, giving it more room to move around and the flock can see him. I am assuming this one is a rooster, but not sure. My black beauty is still broody, but just going to leave her in there? I guess I just needed more time to let everyone adjust. I hope all goes well when I introduce the babies to the flock. One is 6 weeks and the other is two weeks. I will take some pics of babies today and post.
 

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Once you re-establish pecking order you will be fine. I don't separate broody from the flock. So far, 2 hens have successfully brooded chicks while with the flock. Once chicks hatched, I did put non medicated chick feed and water in the coop, messy but necessary. After about a week, momma started bringing the chicks outside. The first few nights, she stayed in the protected part off the run with them
On the ground. It was hard on me, but I figured she new best, and she did. They are now going on 7 weeks old and more on their own, but still with the main flock. momma taught them everything, including how to free range. Now, we only have 1 acre, it is fenced, and preset actors are a minimal problem.
 
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