Help! What to do for the best??

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Help! What to do for the best??

Postby Chicken_George » 22 Sep 2015, 15:59

Hi all... some advice would be appreciated please.

So, after keeping chickens for several years and hatching several batches in my electric incubator - I finally had a broody hen and looked forward to some naturally hatched chicks.

I separated the broody hen with her nesting box into an adjacent house - and 3 x weeks later had 5 hatched chicks which mother hen loved.

In my other house I have 16 hens and 3 cockerels - and they've all got on well for several years. Recently though, one cockerel has started hiding and is the least dominant... so last week I bobbed him in with mummy hen and the 5 chicks (now 5 weeks old). All seemed fine for a week.

Today though, mother hen has burst out when I went to feed her - and she's bolted into the main house with the other hens. The 6-week old chicks ran looking for her - and the cock has rounded them all up and ushered them back into their own house to be with them himself.

What do you reckon? Leave well alone and let the cock live with the 5 x chicks (who are strong little birds now?) Or go and fetch mother hen back into the house with her babies???
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Re: Help! What to do for the best??

Postby ladyplumber » 22 Sep 2015, 16:13

I'd just leave them with him. The hen's obviously had enough of them, and confining her with them might result in her pecking them.

Just keep an eye on the babysitter for now, but he obviously feels the need for a family to look after and protect so should be ok with them
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Re: Help! What to do for the best??

Postby Henwife » 23 Sep 2015, 07:46

After 6 weeks, mum has usually had enough and can't wait to get back to 'adult' company. Some cocks are brilliant fathers (silkies for one) and if he's taken on the young ones he'll consider them his flock - and won't allow them in with the rest of the birds. Start building a new chicken coop now!
Guinea fowl & a lot of surplus poultry equipment.
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Re: Help! What to do for the best??

Postby Moriarty » 23 Sep 2015, 18:44

My cockerel was an excellent dad and wanted to be near the eggs and the babies ... I'd say as long as they are with an adult to protect them from other adults and predators then fine. 5 weeks is about the time the mother wants to have her freedom back !
my chooks: Sage&Onion, Roger the randy cockerel, Squawkbox, Bonnie 'N' Clyde, Pancakes, Custard, Omelette & EggNog. Plus four garden cats and another half dozen feral ones that I feed. And a nursery of pipistrelle bats in the verandah roof ..
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