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When should I let momma hen take her chicks outside?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

I'm a chicken newbie. I have a hen that hatched 3 chicks on Saturday. I've had her in the coop with them since then. I'm wondering when I can let her take them outside. All of the threads I've read refer to chicks without a hen. 


It's pretty hot outside (for here anyway) today - 90 degrees right now. So keeping them warm would not be an issue. I would round them up back into the coop (if I need to - they may go back on their own) for the night.


With the way my pop hole is situated, it would be possible for her go to out without the chicks (I have a board I can use for a temporary ramp. If I move the board, the chicks would not be able to get out.


When should I open the pop hole and let her take them outside? Momma is a free-range chicken, and I feel horrible that she hasn't gone out :(



post #2 of 8

We let our hens with chicks out whenever we are around watching after the first day or two. It's also easier when they only have a few (1-4) rather then 6+. I don't think hens count very well! LOL.


Anyway, our hens will protect the chick from other chickens,, ducks, etc and will even go after a goat if they accidentally get to close. The only time we had a problem was when an older chick from the feeds store, 6-8 weeks, (that was also out because we were out) got to close to mama and her chicks in a confined area and she killed the older chick. At least that's what we think happened. The other chickens just take her warning and leave! I'm sure a hawk could be a problem too, but the hen is usually cautious and we've never had hawk problems and I don't think they are brazen enough here to try anything with dogs, kids, and/or goats out making a ruckus.


Oh, and even if we aren't doing supervised field trips we stick the hen out morning and night when we feed. She'll usually poop outside that way and they we won't have to clean it up out of the cage they are in. LOL. 

post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thanks for your reply. I did some more searching on here (a lot easier on a laptop, I was using my phone before) and it sounds like I can let her take them out when she's ready. It's cooled down a bit, so I'll open up the pophole and see how they do. Hopefully I can get them rounded back in the coop for the night. 

post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 

She elected to stay inside. Will try again tomorrow!

post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 

She finally brought the chicks outside this weekend! Soooo cute!

post #6 of 8

Aw what a good chicken mama! Hope your having fun with your little fluffy butts! 

post #7 of 8

I am hoping someone here can help me out! I had a momma Bantam Cochin hatch out 6 eggs, two on Friday, two on Saturday and the trouble started on Sunday...I had them in a coop all their own but our temperatures dropped drastically and we got snow (I'm located in the northeast where we have been having freak weather for the month of April) it was a small coop with only a small vent and I didn't go out and check them first thing Sunday morning first because I was sick overnight and secondly I thought I shouldn't disturb them with the cold temps, whenever I would go out and look they would be under momma and I always felt like I disrupted them. I did go out later in the morning and I discovered two more had hatched but that 4 of them had died. I can only assume from the cold? The two that survived were the first two that had hatched so probably the strongest? I quickly moved the momma hen and her two remaining chicks inside my garage into a brooder. What I want to know is when should I return her to that coop? It's only supposed to warm into the 50's by the weekend? Should I just leave her and the babies inside a brooder for a week or so (seems cruel to momma hen) or should I return her and try to set up a heat lamp in the outside coop? Please any suggestions I would appreciate. I have 7 more eggs hatching in about 10 days so I need to make a move somehow in that time frame.

post #8 of 8

I still have heard no advice on this but our temps have warmed a bit and momma is wanting to venture out so I will move them to the outside coop and this after noon and open the pop door and see what happens. I can always move them back into the brooder if I need but I am trying to raise them (or let momma hen raise them) as naturally as possible. Wish me luck! 

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