Adding broody hen with two chicks back with 3 adult hens

ngbells1

In the Brooder
Feb 9, 2020
7
6
14
First time with chicks. We had a hen go broody several weeks ago I tried to break her of it but wasn’t having much success so got some fertilized eggs. So now they have hatched and she is a great momma...very protective.My main concern is when to add them back to the flock. Currently I have the mom and 2 chicks in a brooder box in my sunroom. I would like to transfer them back into the coop, but I have a small coop (4x4) which is not compatible with subdividing. The chick are almost 2 weeks old. My questions are: 1. Is it safe to put the mom and chicks back in the same coop now or should I wait a bit longer? 2.If I removed the mom from brooder box and put her back with the other 3 adults when could I add chicks back? I could keep the chicks in the brooder until they were older but would need a heat source for nighttime (daytime temps are in the high 80’s). Last question, 3. If I separate the mom and chicks for several weeks will the mom still protect them when they join the flock?Thanks for your input and advice.
 

BDutch

Naturally ❤️
Premium Feather Member
6 Years
May 19, 2015
3,536
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717
the Netherlands
My Coop
My Coop
I integrated my momma’s with chicks with 2-3 weeks. The momma’s protected the chicks very good. And now they are used to each other and now how to behave.

Don't seperate the momma from the chicks. Then its more difficult to integrate later on. The mother does not care or protect anymore and even can see the grown chicks as enemies.

I’ve been reading that 1-5 weeks is a good age to integrate them. Just watch what happens if you bring the broody and chicks to the coop.

P.s. The more space and hiding places the easier the integration.
 

Mtnboomer

Crowing
Mar 17, 2019
1,304
2,514
262
Southwest Virginia (mountains)
Agree with having plenty of space, hiding places, and escape routes.

I personally keep my broodies and chicks in a large enclosure until 6wks. At 6wks the hens can become aggressive towards the chicks and begin to drive them away or even kill them. At 6wksn the mother is removed and sent back to the free range flock.

The youngsters stay in the pen until they reach 2/3s the size of the adults (for my brahmas thats at about 4mos). The pen is in full sight of the yard. While theyare in there, I will pour some scatch outside its perimeter fence allowing the adults outside and the pullets to feed in close proximity yet in safety.
Once they are big enough, the pullets are either butchered or added to the flock. There is minimal squabbling an acceptance is very quick.
 

BDutch

Naturally ❤️
Premium Feather Member
6 Years
May 19, 2015
3,536
12,088
717
the Netherlands
My Coop
My Coop
Agree with having plenty of space, hiding places, and escape routes.

I personally keep my broodies and chicks in a large enclosure until 6wks. At 6wks the hens can become aggressive towards the chicks and begin to drive them away or even kill them. At 6wksn the mother is removed and sent back to the free range flock.

The youngsters stay in the pen until they reach 2/3s the size of the adults (for my brahmas thats at about 4mos). The pen is in full sight of the yard. While theyare in there, I will pour some scatch outside its perimeter fence allowing the adults outside and the pullets to feed in close proximity yet in safety.
Once they are big enough, the pullets are either butchered or added to the flock. There is minimal squabbling an acceptance is very quick.
I never had broodies who became aggressive towards their chicks at 6 weeks. The young ones get along fine even after the broodies leave the chicks.
But no doubt the little ones are lower in the pecking order. The ones that eat before their turn get a few pecks. That’s all.

Some breeds or individuals are friendlier then others. My bantams are known as friendly and social.
 

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