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2 hens with chicks together

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by AusChook, Nov 22, 2013.

  1. AusChook

    AusChook In the Brooder

    Apr 6, 2013
    I have 2 hens that have had chicks this week. The first hen made herself a nest in my kids old pram. They were fine and safe there until the chicks hatched and couldn't get out and if they did it was a big fall (for a little chick) and they wouldn't be able to get back in so I moved them. I have a room under my house where we store all the animal feed so that is where I have taken her. I made her a nesting box in there but she also has free range of the room. The second hen made her nest in a tiny room at the back of the shed. Hers is up high on a shelf. She has 6 chicks so far but this morning I have found one on the ground (still alive but very cold) so I grabbed her, her remaining eggs and the chicks and have moved them to the same room. Will they be ok like this? I put them at opposite ends of the room. Will there be fighting or killing each others babies. I have a smallish portable pen I can put over the top of one of the hens. Or I can move the first hen outside into the coop with her babies as she has no more eggs to hatch.

  2. Judy

    Judy Crowing Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    I separate the hen while she is sitting on the eggs, but once the chicks hatch, I turn them into the flock. A good mama will protect her chicks from other hens. I have had 2 hens with chicks work together and take care of each others' chicks. I've never had a problem with chicks growing up in the flock. The nice thing is, when the mama stops mothering, the chicks are already integrated into the flock. They may hang out separately but there are no problems. The mama doesn't realy need anything but enough hay to make a nest for them, though they seem to like an open top container for a nest. You'd be surprised how far chicks can jump down safely, and they will be jumping up as high as the adults in a few days. Hens used to hatch their chicks in hay lofts and have them jump to the barn floor a few days later. All they really need is a feed that doesn't have the extra calcium of layer feed; lots of folks use a flock raiser, but a starter (even with amprolium) or grower is fine for the whole flock as well, at least for a few months. Good luck!
  3. Don't worry about a chick taking a big fall from the nest. There is scientific evidence that it is even good for them. Wood duck chicks who take a 40 foot or higher dive from the nest cavity to get to the ground seem to live better and grow faster than those who only have a 5 - 6 foot fall at the start of life. Also baby chicks in some commercial hatcheries take a 3 story header from the hatching room to the packing room were they are boxed up for shipment. They seem none the worst for wear because of it. They even seem to enjoy it and at the least it starts them using their wings sooner and the exercise stimulates their lungs etc.

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