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The Mother hen story.. aka: The Mad hen

So, chickens are smart enough to be chickens, barely...
We have 4 chicks that hatched about the same time, we have a maran hen being mother for them. That is good, she's being a good mom, for the most part..

But we have a problem... The coop sits on 4 concrete pillars to give the chickens a place to sit in shade or out of the rain. This works out well, except when we have chicks.

The ramp going into the coop is 5' long and sticks out at a gentle angle, i staple old towels to it when we have chicks so their can get some grip to walk up it.

The mother tries to show them how to get into the coop, but being a full grown chicken means she just jumps up onto the middle of the ramp and wants in. The chicks, being a lot smaller, cannot jump that high so try, then run back and forth pipping for the mother.

She comes back out, squawks at them to follow her, then jumps back up onto the ramp and goes back inside. They try, cannot, and the process starts over.

So we have to assist, we wait for her to go into the coop, run up and quickly close the door, then we chase the chicks around until we catch them and walk them up the ramp to the partially open door.

Or that is how its supposed to work.

How it really works:
Hen tries to get chicks to go up the ramp, finally gives up and beds down on the ground some place (in a semi protected area) and the chicks are happy, pecking the ground and going under her to stay warm.

1 problem: raccoons..

Raccoons would eat them all and be quite happy..

So we chase the hen around and she gets madder than a ... well.. a mad hen..
I catch her (with gloves and long sleeves on) and throw her into the coop and slam the door closed, now she's making a racket in the coop while we run around catching the terrified chicks...

After we put the 1st chick in she calms down, 1 chick is all she needs to mellow out.
We catch the remaining chicks and put them in there...

So I put walls on the ramp so now its more like a cattle chute..
Sometimes 1 of the chicks goes up the ramp with the hen, so the hen is content and quiet and we just have to go round up the chicks and walk them up the ramp.

I'll be glad when they are big enough so we can stop this silliness...

Catching the hen:

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