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delphzzzz

Broody hen attacked the first chick

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We've had 4 hatching eggs under a broody hen, due to hatch today. Today, while we were in the garden, the hen came out of the broody coop to eat and drink - we peeped under the coop lid and there was one chick (a male Cream Legbar) and another egg pipping. The chick was dry and fluffy so must have been out for a while.

 

Unfortunately, when the hen went back in the coop, she immediately attacked the chick. She looked as though she meant business - flinging it in the air - so I took it out. When she sent back in, I tried several times to carefully put it back. Each time she attacked it - one time it did get under her, but she went for it after a few seconds.

 

We've brought it indoors and are putting together a brooder box. We've shut her in now, because I can only think she attacked it when she saw it with the eggs because she hadn't seen it exposed before - obviously it had been under her.

 

Does anyone have any advice on how to stop her going for the other chicks? Is there any chance I can get her to take the first one back - maybe if I slip him under her at night?

 

Delph

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Update: we carefully put the chick back under her when it was dark. This morning it's all quiet and while we were watching a female CLB popped out from under her. It was right in front of her so she can see it, and there was no violence! Fingers crossed she's accepted the other one back.

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I'm glad it looks to have worked out.

I didn't post last night because I didn't have any advice.

Fingers crossed she gets the hang of being a good mummy.

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Thanks luvachicken. All went well after the second chick hatched. The other 2 eggs were duds. Speckles looks after the chicks really well - even tolerates them pecking her face! They are now 7 days old, healthy and active.

 

Speckles is an ex-caged rescue hen. It's amazing really, to think that she was hatched in an incubator, lived in a cage and had never even seen a chick in her life. We gave her the hatching eggs as she was persistently broody, and despite the initial wobble she's now a perfect mum. All the mother hen behaviours are there - sheltering them, calling them, feeding them tiny bits of the lettuce we give her. Lovely to see.

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