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Should my new baby chicks stay with there mother or go in a box with a heat lamp?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

Should my new chicks stay in the coop with there mother and the other chickens or should they go in a brooder with a heat lamp?

post #2 of 16
The chicks will be fine with their mother, she will keep them plenty warm!
*-*MEREDITH*-*

Chickens, Rabbits, Ducks O My Living a dream here at Shadow Oak Farm. Come by and Like my Shadow Oak Farm page on Facebook
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*-*MEREDITH*-*

Chickens, Rabbits, Ducks O My Living a dream here at Shadow Oak Farm. Come by and Like my Shadow Oak Farm page on Facebook
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post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 

what about the other chickens, will they beet up on the chicks or will the mother protect them?

post #4 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by carson young View Post

what about the other chickens, will they beet up on the chicks or will the mother protect them?



that you would have to keep an eye on, sometimes they just become part of the flock cause of the mother I guess, but other times they will kill day old chicks.

post #5 of 16
Im interested in this post! I have a possible broody and I'm thinking of letting her hatch her own eggs!
post #6 of 16
It is your choice. We all have different goals and different set-ups. There is not always one answer that is right for all of us. And you are dealing with living animals. No one can tell you for sure what will happen with your specific chickens in your specific conditions.

Chickens have been hatching eggs and raising chicks with the flock for thousands of years. Sometimes there are problems, but they are not extinct yet. Many of us on this forum have hens hatch and raise them with the flock. I do every time I get a broody.

A broody hen will usually protect her chicks. I have never had any kind of problem with a dominant rooster hurting the chicks. On the contrary, several of my dominant roosters have helped the hen take care of the chicks, but some just ignore them. Occasionally another hen or a non-dominate rooster will threaten a chick. Most of the time Mama has such a bad attitude about that the other chicken quickly learns that threatening a chick is not a healthy thing to do. I've had very few adult chickens actually go out of their way to try to harm the chicks and my broodies have always vigorously objected when they do, but others on this forum have had disasters. They are living animals. You can't know what will happen.

To me, one advantage to the hen raising the chicks is that Mama takes care of basic integration. When she weans those chicks, the rest of the flock accdepts them as flock members. It helps Mama do her job if she has enough room to work with. If space is tight, she will be more likely to have problems. But if space is tight and you decide to raise them yourself, you are very likely to have integration problems when they grow big enough for you to try to integrate them later. To me, either letting a broody raise them with the flock or integrating chickens goes much better if you have some extra space.

Just because a broody takes care of basic integration does not mean the chicks are home free. When she weans them, they are still at the bottom of the pecking order. The other hens may vigorously enforce their pecking order rights until the chicks mature enough to establish their position in the flock. If the younger chicks have enough room to get away from the other adult hens, it is not a big deal. But if space is tight, it can be a serious problem. I really do think space is a really important consideration for which way you go.

Something I've seen happen many times. I've seen two week old chicks leave Mama's protection and stand next to the other hens at the feeder. Sometimes the other hens ignore the chick, at least for a bit, but usually one will give the chick a peck to remind it that it is against proper chicken etiquette for a chicken that low in the pecking order to eat with its betters. That chick runs peeping and flapping back to Mama as fast as it can get there. Mama usually ignores this. I guess it takes a flock to teach proper flock etiquette. But if that hen tries to follow the chick to do it harm, Mama vigorously objects.

What is the right choice for you? I don't know. If you allow Mama to raise the chicks, either with the flock or in their own separate space, she will provide all the heat they need and will teach them to be chickens, but the chicks will not be as friendly as they would be if you raise them yourself and handle them every day.

Good luck, whichever way yoou choose.

Freedom is not the right to do what we want, but what we ought....Abraham Lincoln (Freedom carries responsibility)

The spirit of liberty is the spirit which is not too sure that it is right.....Judge Learned Hand  (The more sure your are that your way is the only right way, the more likely you are wrong.)

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-much-room-do-chickens-need

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Freedom is not the right to do what we want, but what we ought....Abraham Lincoln (Freedom carries responsibility)

The spirit of liberty is the spirit which is not too sure that it is right.....Judge Learned Hand  (The more sure your are that your way is the only right way, the more likely you are wrong.)

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-much-room-do-chickens-need

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post #7 of 16

Wow. What he said, exactly.

Rachel BB

 

"At the cross You beckon me, You draw me gently to my knees and I am lost for words, so lost in love I am sweetly broken, wholly surrendered"

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Rachel BB

 

"At the cross You beckon me, You draw me gently to my knees and I am lost for words, so lost in love I am sweetly broken, wholly surrendered"

Reply
post #8 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ridgerunner View Post

It is your choice. We all have different goals and different set-ups. There is not always one answer that is right for all of us. And you are dealing with living animals. No one can tell you for sure what will happen with your specific chickens in your specific conditions.
Chickens have been hatching eggs and raising chicks with the flock for thousands of years. Sometimes there are problems, but they are not extinct yet. Many of us on this forum have hens hatch and raise them with the flock. I do every time I get a broody.
A broody hen will usually protect her chicks. I have never had any kind of problem with a dominant rooster hurting the chicks. On the contrary, several of my dominant roosters have helped the hen take care of the chicks, but some just ignore them. Occasionally another hen or a non-dominate rooster will threaten a chick. Most of the time Mama has such a bad attitude about that the other chicken quickly learns that threatening a chick is not a healthy thing to do. I've had very few adult chickens actually go out of their way to try to harm the chicks and my broodies have always vigorously objected when they do, but others on this forum have had disasters. They are living animals. You can't know what will happen.
To me, one advantage to the hen raising the chicks is that Mama takes care of basic integration. When she weans those chicks, the rest of the flock accdepts them as flock members. It helps Mama do her job if she has enough room to work with. If space is tight, she will be more likely to have problems. But if space is tight and you decide to raise them yourself, you are very likely to have integration problems when they grow big enough for you to try to integrate them later. To me, either letting a broody raise them with the flock or integrating chickens goes much better if you have some extra space.
Just because a broody takes care of basic integration does not mean the chicks are home free. When she weans them, they are still at the bottom of the pecking order. The other hens may vigorously enforce their pecking order rights until the chicks mature enough to establish their position in the flock. If the younger chicks have enough room to get away from the other adult hens, it is not a big deal. But if space is tight, it can be a serious problem. I really do think space is a really important consideration for which way you go.
Something I've seen happen many times. I've seen two week old chicks leave Mama's protection and stand next to the other hens at the feeder. Sometimes the other hens ignore the chick, at least for a bit, but usually one will give the chick a peck to remind it that it is against proper chicken etiquette for a chicken that low in the pecking order to eat with its betters. That chick runs peeping and flapping back to Mama as fast as it can get there. Mama usually ignores this. I guess it takes a flock to teach proper flock etiquette. But if that hen tries to follow the chick to do it harm, Mama vigorously objects.
What is the right choice for you? I don't know. If you allow Mama to raise the chicks, either with the flock or in their own separate space, she will provide all the heat they need and will teach them to be chickens, but the chicks will not be as friendly as they would be if you raise them yourself and handle them every day.
Good luck, whichever way yoou choose.

Ahhhh, this had me scared to mix the babies to the other girls :( I might try to give her 3 chicks. I want friendly chickens. So I will hand raise most of the 12 im getting. Space will be tight once i put all the chicks into the coop. 3.5 sq ft. Im worried now :/

post #9 of 16

Ridgerunner, thanks for the info. And, I have a follow-up question for you. 

 

I have all full-sized hens except one bantam Sumatran. I would like to have this Sumatran be my broody because, a) she shows the most interest in brooding, and b) she's a gift from my SIL who says she makes a great mother. 

 

But, she is also at the bottom of the pecking order in my flock. She's crafty and fast and avoids most confrontation but she's still last to eat, etc. Do you think it would be a bad idea to have her be my broody--would she be unable to defend the chicks from the others since she's the smallest by far and already at the bottom?

 

One more thought: I was planning on creating a brooding space for her on the floor of the coop that is only large enough for her to get into. I thought this would help her be safe and be a place where the chicks could hide if they were threatened by one of the big hens. Would this be sufficient?

 

Any thoughts or advice would be appreciated. Thanks. 

Backyard farming with my flock of super talented manure composters and bug hunters.

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Backyard farming with my flock of super talented manure composters and bug hunters.

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post #10 of 16
But, she is also at the bottom of the pecking order in my flock. She's crafty and fast and avoids most confrontation but she's still last to eat, etc. Do you think it would be a bad idea to have her be my broody--would she be unable to defend the chicks from the others since she's the smallest by far and already at the bottom?

I've had a broody that was at the bottom of the pecking order and she did fine. I have no idea how yours would do. It depends on her personality, the other hens' personalities, and the general flock dynamics, among other things.

Most of my broodies don't have to defend their chicks very much. They have room to work and keep the chicks pretty well separated from the flock anyway. And I generally don't have hens that go out of their way to try to hurt the chicks. Some hens will go after chicks.

One more thought: I was planning on creating a brooding space for her on the floor of the coop that is only large enough for her to get into. I thought this would help her be safe and be a place where the chicks could hide if they were threatened by one of the big hens. Would this be sufficient?

I don't do anything like that, but a safe haven is a good idea. One thing I would watch for though is do not set it up where the chicks can mingle with the other hens and the broody cannot get to them to protect her chicks. If you do set up a separate area for the hen and chicks, make sure the chicks cannot get through the fence. Chicks can die if the broody cannot get to them to protect them. I had that happen once to one chick. The chick got into a grow-out pen with some 8-week-olds. Mama could not get into that area and the 8-week-olds killed it.

Freedom is not the right to do what we want, but what we ought....Abraham Lincoln (Freedom carries responsibility)

The spirit of liberty is the spirit which is not too sure that it is right.....Judge Learned Hand  (The more sure your are that your way is the only right way, the more likely you are wrong.)

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-much-room-do-chickens-need

Reply

Freedom is not the right to do what we want, but what we ought....Abraham Lincoln (Freedom carries responsibility)

The spirit of liberty is the spirit which is not too sure that it is right.....Judge Learned Hand  (The more sure your are that your way is the only right way, the more likely you are wrong.)

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-much-room-do-chickens-need

Reply
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