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chicks due soon and need to make sure i got it covered

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

i have a hen sitting on a clutch of eggs.  they are in the coop, but in a big kennel.  i know i need to provide chick starter and water for chicks, i have the feeders for that.  but what about hen?  just let her eat the chick starter?  how long should i keep them in the kennel segregated from the regular hens/roosters/ducks?  assuming mom will protect them, should i just leave the kennel open?  

post #2 of 5
The hen will be fine with chick starter so don't worry on that score.
Regarding separation / integration I think that opinions seem to differ. I have no experience with ducks so I'll leave that to others but personally, I let my hen and her chicks mingle with the rest of the flock after 2-3 days. The chicks are born in the main coop which is a shed and then put in a mini-coop the day they are born. After a couple of days the mini-coop door
Is left open so mum takes them there to sleep ( I then close the door) and eat / drink. It seems from my experience that adults only feel the need to teach chicks required etiquette when they are around 4-6 weeks, so the chicks are quite safe with mum to protect them - Roos sometimes help as well as other hens in the flock. I should add that my flock free ranges.

This is just my experience however, so let others also share their experiences so you can decide what suits you.

Ct
Nairobi, Kenya
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Nairobi, Kenya
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post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 

so hen is ok.  

i keep the chicks and hen in the kennel for a few days (its a large kennel for a doberman pincher, so plenty of room.  the kennel is in the coop now, so i just leave it there, then after 2-3 days i just leave the door open so they can come and go as they please.  sounds easy to me.  i free range too.  i use deep litter for the coop, and at the door there is a 2x6 to keep the litter in the coop.  should i build a little ramp for the chicks to get out?  outside the coop is a pen that is open to the ground, but covered on top and on the sides.  so they should be fine in there once they venture out that far.  

post #4 of 5
Yep but remember that mum will need to leave the chicks to poo and get s bit of exercise at least 2-3 times per day. I live in Kenya so it's always warm and I move the mini-coop outside during the day - a bit of sun and eating dirt and scratching around is good for them.

A ramp would be fine but even a block of wood will still be ok I would think - they seem to be agile from day 1. Just make sure they can get back into the crate.

Mum knows best so let her decide what to do - they will even decide when to take their chicks to roost with the adults - I find it quite amazing.

Ct
Nairobi, Kenya
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Nairobi, Kenya
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post #5 of 5
My two silkies just incubated the one clutch of eggs. They are co-parenting the chicks and have been mingling amongst the ducks from about the 3rd day. The chicks just follow them around and go back into the hutch at night.
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