How to re-introduce a broody that raised chicks

Discussion in 'Behavior & Flock Management' started by ztolley, Aug 20, 2012.

  1. ztolley

    ztolley New Member

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    I had a hen go broody so I got some fertilised eggs, moved her out to a broody coop/run and hey presto chicks.

    They are bout 4-5 weeks old now and until now I've kept mum and the chicks in the broody coop next to the main fenced off area. The other day I made a fenced area for them next to the others and noticed the past couple of nights mum trying to get over the fence to back to her old coop. Tonight I let her over to see what would happen and she was fine but the others took offence to her. Once came up and started pecking her and they started going for each other (feathers flying) so I separated them. Then she tried to get into the coop and another one guarded it and would not let her in at all, she ended up leaving and I guided her back to her own area.

    So... any advice on how to reintroduce her and the chicks and I know that there is the pecking order and they sort that out but I worry and dont know at what point you step in... in theory when there's blood but....

    Did wonder if I wait till they are all asleep and slip her in... thats how they were all brought together in the first place and there wasn't so much as a squark in the morning.
     
  2. grandmagrizzle

    grandmagrizzle New Member

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    I am having similar problem with intruding a new hen. Someone suggested giving them the run of the garden, or none coop area then re introduce them to the coop all together. Seems to have worked for my girls. Maybe worth a try. I only had them out for half hour or so.
     

  3. Jeremysbrinkman

    Jeremysbrinkman New Member

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    Reintroduce her when the new chicks are ready to be introduced. That way there is more than one target in the pecking order.
     
  4. ztolley

    ztolley New Member

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    I'll wait until the chicks are bigger then, but she's fixed on getting over the fence to get back to her old home and she's either going to make it over on her own or hang herself on the fence
     
  5. ztolley

    ztolley New Member

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    So my wife, who shall now be called 'chicken whisperer', decided while I was at work to re-fence the run so that the main coop and broody coop now share the same run and I come home to find all the chickens plus the chicks, happily walking around together as if nothing had happened.....

    Only thing is that momma and chicks seem to keep to themselves and even though she's checked the old coop out, mom follows the chicks into the broody coop every night.
     
  6. ztolley

    ztolley New Member

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    So while cleaning the broody coop tonight I found it had a massive collection of red mite hidden under the floor where mom and chicks had been sleeping and haven't had time to properly clean it all out and powder it so they are in the main coop tonight. The boss didn't like it at first and had a go, chasing a chick out, but then strangely when I caught the chick to put it back in the grey one starting making an alert sound, like it was looking out for the chick... Grey one went back in shortly after with no fuss and they are all in together tonight.. so fingers crossed.
     
  7. Energyvet

    Energyvet New Member

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    Bummer about the mites. Glad every is tucked in and safe. Maybe they just needed to see you putting the little ones in to understand that they belonged there.
     
  8. ztolley

    ztolley New Member

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    Grey one still gives them a hard time now and then though they learnt to avoid it, unless it's about corn :). Last night the grey one wanted to chase them out. It seems that if they go in first and settle and then the dominant ones does, it's more concerned about going to sleep than keeping then in line. She's basically a grumpy old man.
     
  9. hollyosborn

    hollyosborn HollyOsborn

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    I kept mine sectioned off in the coop, and the babies would run in and out of the wire, finally i just opened them up and mama and babies were fine with all the others, no problems at all. The roosters loved the babies.