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9 new chicks with mom, Can I put them in a coop with a ramp?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by ElCerritoPlace, Nov 9, 2015.

  1. ElCerritoPlace

    ElCerritoPlace Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have 9 newly hatched chicks under mama hen. I moved her out of the coop 2 days before hatch. Unfortunately the cage she is in is just that, a small rabbit cage. She was not top hen, but second or close to that. So can chicks go up and down a ramp? Do I need food inside the coop or can I keep food and water outside the coop? My nest boxes are elevated so once chicks are out of it they are unlikely to get back in the nest box. I can put a Rubbermaid tub on the floor of the coop for them if that would work.

    I would rather have mama raise these chicks, since if I bring them inside I have a 4 month old puppy who doesn't understand chickens are off limits yet.

    Any thoughts would be much appreciated. Thanks!
     
  2. 3riverschick

    3riverschick Poultry Lit Chaser

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    Helps if the chicks and Mama are all on the same level. I have not had success teaching chicks to go up ramps.
    Best,
    Karen
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2015
  3. CTKen

    CTKen Monkey business Premium Member

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    I would strongly recommend that you leave the mum to do her thing - its part of the pleasure of raising chicks as she does all the work and makes all the decisions.

    If you could put your rabbit cage or whatever mini-coop you wish at ground level of the coop and leave it open (but still have food and water in there) the mum will take her chicks outside or go inside whenever she feels it is right. If you wish to change from the cage to another mini-coop then put food and water in their and put the mum and chicks inside so mum knows that where food and water is.

    If you click on my page you will see two brooder coops that i made from pvc tubing and chicken wire - just to give you and idea.
    Good luck

    CT
     
  4. ElCerritoPlace

    ElCerritoPlace Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So when could the chicks go up a ramp?
     
  5. junebuggena

    junebuggena Overrun With Chickens

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    They might be able to handle a ramp as early as 3 or 4 days old. It all depends on how quick they are to figure it out, and how good momma is about teaching them. I would be more concerned about how well momma hen is protecting her chicks from the rest of the flock. My most recent broody was quite terrible at keeping all her chicks together and keeping the other flock members away from the little ones.
     
  6. coupe-d-lux

    coupe-d-lux Out Of The Brooder

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    I'm reading this post and I'm in a like situation. My hen should hatch some eggs in the next couple days. Currently, her nest is probably around 36" above the hen house floor. Should I wait til the chicks hatch and move her to the floor within a day or so? I built an extension (shelf like) floor that will extend beyond her nest by about 2ft. I was also going to put up a small wall around it, about 6" to start then add chicken wire.
    Or should I just move the next to the floor. I don't want the chick first step to be a three footer. Also, I divided up the house so this hen is separated from the others for now.
     
  7. CTKen

    CTKen Monkey business Premium Member

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    Personally i would put the nest on the floor as soon as all the viable eggs have hatched providing the chicks can get in and out of the nest box. I build a mini-coop for my mum and chicks and they go into that, on the ground from day one. I leave the door open, so the mum and chicks can venture out - very important for the mother as she will need to defecate and will try her best not to do it in the nest box / mini-coop. I was overprotective with my first hatch and kept the chicks and mum separate from the rest of the flock for a few weeks, but as i have grown more confident (and read a lot of posts here on BYC) i simply let the mum decide whats best for the chicks - if she wants to take them outside she does, if not then thats also fine. Its great watching a mother hen with her chicks - i breed them just for the fun of it (not sure my wife thinks the feed bills are fun, but never mind [​IMG]


    Good luck and enjoy!
    CT
     
  8. coupe-d-lux

    coupe-d-lux Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks for the great advice CTKen. By my records, something should be happening by this Sat/Sun. I can move her nest to the floor of the hen house by then. I'm hoping the other hens and roosters don't interfere when she takes them outside, into the coop. Thanks again.
     
  9. CTKen

    CTKen Monkey business Premium Member

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    You are most welcome. Its more than likely that the mother will chase off any unwanted attention from any other chickens. I did have a cockerel that was very gentle and caring with chicks, and at the moment i have another hen that acts as an aunt to my 5 week olds.

    Good luck!

    CT
     
  10. HarrisonCreek

    HarrisonCreek Out Of The Brooder

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    We're in a similar situation. Mama has one hatched and one pipped and 4 more (?) to go. They are in the "upstairs bedroom" at the moment. Should I offer a spot on the ground? What will entice her? Pine shavings OK? or a shallow plastic box lined with towels? (OMG I'm so clueless..)
     

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