concerns around Broody

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hip chick
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concerns around Broody

Post by hip chick » Mon Sep 10, 2018 9:20 am

Hi I,m not sure if im over reading situations, but I feel my broody is being a little rough with her chicks, but not sure what is considered normal behaviour. The broody seems to go into panic mode when all the chicks are out at once, like she's lost control of them. I have put a camera into the pen so I can observe mum and chicks from the house, but watching the live footage this morning, I saw mum pick up one of the chicks in front of her, and throw it to the side, then she did it again a little while later with another chick. Can someone please advise asap if I should remove her or am I worrying for nothing
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hip chick
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Re: concerns around Broody

Post by hip chick » Mon Sep 10, 2018 11:22 am

:cry: ive now taken the chicks away from her, so theyre in the house in a crate with a heat lamp
MrsBiscuit
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Re: concerns around Broody

Post by MrsBiscuit » Mon Sep 10, 2018 1:23 pm

Its not normal for a broody to pick up chicks and fling them about! A good broody is such a good Mum that you have no concerns about anything, she just gets on with everything and its a joy to watch. It is quite possible that your girl is just inexperienced, and the instinct about good mothering is not strong in her, and she doesn't know what to do, and that she will get more used to it, but of course there is a risk in letting her acquire that knowledge. You have taken a decision, I don't think there is a right or wrong approach, so I would go with what you have done. Raising chicks by hand is a bit time consuming and messy, but I prefer it, because I can see exactly what is going on with each chick and can intervene quickly, but many people prefer a more natural approach and there is something special about the bonding between hen and chicks. If you feel strongly about this, then you could try putting them back perhaps later today or tomorrow and continuing to observe her. I have put 4 or 5 day old chicks under a broody successfully, but that is about the limit I would say, and of course your hen hasn't shown herself to be a good Mum so far.

Make sure the hen is OK, I am not sure how she will react to the chicks going.
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Hen-Gen
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Re: concerns around Broody

Post by Hen-Gen » Mon Sep 10, 2018 1:46 pm

Very unusual behaviour and I’m sure quite stressful for you too. I have not used broodies for years (perhaps twenty) and only have limited experience of them (for rearing chickens). This kind of behaviour sounds very unusual and for your part I’d not risk returning the chicks to her. However rearing chicks requires space and commitment and may not be easy for you. Maybe the broody is young and inexperienced.
Do not feel in any way that this is your fault. My early experience of broodies was to hatch and rear pheasant chicks. Unlike regular chicks which run to mum when scared, pheasant chicks have the instinct to scatter in all directions. A complete nightmare!
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hip chick
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Re: concerns around Broody

Post by hip chick » Mon Sep 10, 2018 2:18 pm

the hen was very distressed when i removed them but has calmed a little as the day has gone on. I will keep her in the partitioned pen until i feel she is calm enough to return her to the others in a few days time. i have no intention of returning her chicks to her, as im sure that had i not had the camera in, I would be finding dead chicks, and all the chicks were backing away from her, which isnt normal. I have the time to commit to raising the chicks, and would rather do that, than any harm come to them
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Re: concerns around Broody

Post by MrsBiscuit » Mon Sep 10, 2018 3:24 pm

Good Call!
valeriebutterley
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Re: concerns around Broody

Post by valeriebutterley » Mon Sep 10, 2018 5:09 pm

My broody Silkie is a simply wonderful mother, and hatched 8 chicks two and a half weeks ago.
They are all round her, jump on her, fly up to her, and are a pleasure to watch, and she certainly mothers them and watches out for them, she doubles in size wings spread, when any of the bantams free in the garden approach.
I do know that some chickens have no mothering instinct at all, in my bantam hut my beautiful (and late) Angel, murdered every chick that hatched.
So I do know the heartbreak of a rotten mother.
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hip chick
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Re: concerns around Broody

Post by hip chick » Mon Sep 10, 2018 5:44 pm

The chicks do seem much happier in the house under the heatlamp, as they are moving round more and eating and drinking more frequently. Mum was actually trying to stop them eating and drinking this morning, and the more aggressive she got, the more the chicks backed away from her. After watching her pick up and throw two chicks, she started doing what she does with me when she's not happy, which is screaming at them with wide gaping beak, wings spread, and body low, aggressively trying to peck them, at which point I removed them. I feel I can relax now, so Thank you again for the responses
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Marigold
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Re: concerns around Broody

Post by Marigold » Mon Sep 10, 2018 5:55 pm

Sounds as if she should be reported to the NSPCC _ national society for the prevention of cruelty to chicks!
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hip chick
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Re: concerns around Broody

Post by hip chick » Mon Sep 10, 2018 6:28 pm

lol marigold, she certainly wont win any awards for mother of the year
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