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Yes or no? Separate mama hen and chicks from rest of flock?

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

I would like your advice and experience on whether to separate a mama hen and her chicks from the rest of the flock....

Her eggs should be hatching on or around June 5th.  This is my first time having a broody and hatching eggs.

Will mama protect her babies?  Have you ever just let your mama hen raise her chicks right with the flock?

Also, currently she is brooding in a utility sink.smile  It is a deep sink.  Once the chicks hatch, they would never be able to get out of the sink.  What should I put her and the chicks in so that the chicks can get in and out of it?  My nesting boxes are up on the wall, so they couldn't get in or out of those either.  Any ideas or tips?

Thank you!!caf

  Happy owner of 12 Black Stars, 1 renegade Delaware banty, four Rhode Island Reds, four Buff Orpingtons, and four Silver-Laced Wyandottes! 
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  Happy owner of 12 Black Stars, 1 renegade Delaware banty, four Rhode Island Reds, four Buff Orpingtons, and four Silver-Laced Wyandottes! 
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post #2 of 4

O gosh - I just went through this. I hope this helps.

My broody was on 8 eggs in a nest, on a 6x4 foot platform inside the common coop. Roost is above this platform.
I knew I'd have to make a change cause the chicks could not get down and up from that platform.
For the first week, I penned off her nest with half of the platform. She and the babies were almost immobile for the first 3 days. very little activity. I provided food and water of course.

The other 4 hens, were a little freaky when they started peeping. Definitely kept them separated. Days go by...the other 4 hens can come and go into the coop and around the coop and hear the sounds and see the little peeps. Soon they ignore them.

Second week, I moved the family to the area under the platform, the floor of the coop. I used that green plastic fencing to section it off. I put a large dog kennel in the coop, with the opening against a hole in the plastic fence. They settled in nicely.

At about day 10, I let down the green plastic fencing and let mom decide how much freedom to have. She did not want to leave. Every day I let it down to see if she was ready.
Then this morning (this is day 14) momma was pacing inside the fence obviousy wanting "out". The other 4 hens were in the yard, coop doors open.

I opened the gate. She took the peeps into the other areas of the coop, and a hour later had them outside WITH the other hens.

Everything went perfectly! She made it CLEAR that the other hens could not get too close. The other hens werent that interested anyway. She kept them out all afternoon and had great fun.

I dont know if your flock will react like this, and I could still have a problem. But I was completely impressed at how the Mom seemed to know what to do.

I think a key is to desensitize the flock - make sure they see and hear the peeps from day 1. If you give them enough room, everything should be fine.

post #3 of 4

I've done it several times now.  Far as I'm concerned, the chicks on this farm will all be raised by broodies within the flock from here on out.

Here is my experience with it, post #6:

http://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=510519

If there ever comes a day when we can't be together keep me in your heart, I'll stay there forever - Winnie the Pooh
I'll never develop a thick skin.  Thick skin leads to a hard heart and I never want to be one of those people. 

A slave to LF brahmas, seramas, runner ducks, call ducks, two geese that are my feathered children, and a crossbeak silkie X named Dragon. 

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If there ever comes a day when we can't be together keep me in your heart, I'll stay there forever - Winnie the Pooh
I'll never develop a thick skin.  Thick skin leads to a hard heart and I never want to be one of those people. 

A slave to LF brahmas, seramas, runner ducks, call ducks, two geese that are my feathered children, and a crossbeak silkie X named Dragon. 

Reply
post #4 of 4
Quote:
Originally Posted by gritsar 

I've done it several times now.  Far as I'm concerned, the chicks on this farm will all be raised by broodies within the flock from here on out.

Here is my experience with it, post #6:

http://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=510519


Aren't those Moms fantastic!!!

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