Uh oh! I was bragging about how wonderful Charlotte the mama hen was, and how she'd accept chicks that she didn't hatch to her brood. She's accepted chicks before, she's been a mama hen many times before.
However, she spent 2 days getting to know her own chicks before I added new chicks this time. And now she doesn't want the new chicks. I guess 2 days was too long a period to go before I added new babies.
Charlotte hates the little Rhode Island Red chick. She bites it terribly. She knows it by color. There's also an Americauna she knows is not her, it's a brownish color, she'll bite it, too. There are a few Americauna chicks that look just like her own Big Bird chick, and by mistake she has even pecked Big Bird now when she mean to peck those other chicks.
If too many chicks come out from under her wings all at once, it freaks
Charlotte out. She knows she only had four chicks. She cranes her neck and
looks at each chick, trying to recognize it by color, and she'll peck at the ones that aren't her original chicks.
I turned out the light in her coop, covered all windows and doors and covered the crack under the door going into her coop. It has to be dark. There is a fan blowing outside air in in the window, so it's not terribly hot in there yet this morning. If Charlotte cannot see the chicks she's ok. They all nest up under her wings, they all accepted her just fine. I don't know how long I can keep it dark in there. I'm just hoping eventually she'll accept them.
Most likely I'll have to separate the chicks somehow, and one batch will be raised without a mama hen. Hey, at least they'll be friendly, as I'll be their mama. What work...