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Advice needed on introducing mom and babies into flock

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Bookspryte, May 25, 2010.

  1. Bookspryte

    Bookspryte Songster

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    May 18, 2009
    After fighting with my incubator for months, just when I finish incubating for a while, I had a bunch of hens decide to go broody. [​IMG] [​IMG]

    The first of them hatched out three babies last week. [​IMG] One was hurt and died. I assume either trampled by mom or other chickens in the pen. I took the two survivors and mom and put them in a small cage inside the run. My question is when and how to I integrate them back into the main part of the flock?

    Her coop mates can see her and the babies, but can't get to them. The pen they're in is small and the babies will soon need more room. Is it safe to move them back to the main coop or keep them separate for a while.

    This is a brand new experience for me.

    I have three other broodies. My lavendar cochin bantam is sitting on about four LF eggs, I have another BA sitting on about a dozen eggs and one of my barred rocks is sitting on 20 pheasant eggs for a friend. His pheasant hen refused to set and he didn't have any broody hens.

    If I need to put all of them in separate pens, I'm in big trouble. [​IMG]

    Expert advice need. Thanks in advance.

    Denise
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2010
  2. fishermans wife

    fishermans wife Songster

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    Sep 2, 2009
    Ventura County
    I am fairly new to chickens, and had 2 broody's hatch out 2 chicks each 2 weeks ago. My experience only - but I kept them in the coop with everyone else the whole time. The momma's have totally taken over in their care and protection so far. The other hens stay away, as momma hen has made it clear she is not to be messed with, nor her babies. They go to bed earlier than the others - into their nesting boxes - chicks under them. They all free range all day - chicks staying very close to their mom, and the other hens just keep their distance. It is so fun to watch the mothers take care of their young, and so far I have had absolutely no problems. My biggest fear is really been outside predators - so I keep a pretty close eye on everyone -

    Just thought I would share my experience.... hopefully someone else with more experience than me can chime in - and I will learn more as well!
     
  3. Catstar68

    Catstar68 Songster

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    Sep 7, 2009
    Franklinton, NC
    Quote:This has been my experience, also. I never separated them and they just all co-exist. The rooster is even protective of his babies. The other hens keep their distance as per mommy hen but one hen is close to momma hen and seems to have taken up a bit of a babysitting role. I hope the harmony continues and I don't have any issues as the chicks get older...but so far so good and it's been 2 weeks.
     
  4. Bookspryte

    Bookspryte Songster

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    May 18, 2009
    I initially separated them for two reasons. The first is the one chick that looked like it had been trampled. I wanted to protect the surviving two. Also, I have another broody in the same coop and she's sitting on eggs. In fact, she moved into the nest box with the first broody the day before the chicks hatched, so momma and babies were basically banished to the main part of the coop.

    I never expected broodies so I never set things up for them.

    Denise
     
  5. fishermans wife

    fishermans wife Songster

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    Sep 2, 2009
    Ventura County
    I too have 2 broody's - but they all hatched about the same time, and were in their own next boxes. They continue to be together - and the chicks and moms know who belongs together. It is so cute . I understand why you separated - hopefully someone with a whole lot more experience than me will chime in soon for you! Good luck!
     
  6. Beekissed

    Beekissed Free Ranging

    I just do what you have already done and let the flock see and hear them for a little while before I integrate them. I free range so my situation may not be typical, but I just let them out to free range with the flock after that little while and watch closely. If any one hen is bothering the mother or babies, I intervene a few times. After that, the mama hen seems to be quite capable of protecting her chicks and I've had no problems.

    You will be surprised how quickly they fit in and how soon the chicks recognize that alarm call from the roo...very comical to watch them stick out those little wings and RUN to mama!

    Since I free range, I don't seem to have the same problems with fighting or bullying that some folks report with birds contained in a run. My birds have enough room to maintain distance from a would-be bully.

    Good luck! [​IMG]
     

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