Baby chicks raised by chicken...

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Jambruins, Jul 17, 2009.

  1. Jambruins

    Jambruins In the Brooder

    Jul 1, 2009
    If I let a chicken sit on and hatch the eggs should I keep them in a separate area? If so, how old should they be before I let them free range with the other chickens?

    I don't have any chickens yet but I plan on getting around 5 or so next spring. So it would be babies and mommy getting put together with 4 other chickens.

  2. KellyHM

    KellyHM Crowing

    Sep 10, 2008
    Lakeland, FL
    A hen should be in a separate pen, or at least sectioned off, when she hatches chicks. This will keep the other chickens from attacking the youngsters. I usually let mine start free ranging around 2-3 weeks old, but only while supervised b/c a lot of things will eat them at that age.
  3. Jambruins

    Jambruins In the Brooder

    Jul 1, 2009
    Once they start free ranging can they be cooped with all the other chickens at night or should they still be kept separate? Thanks.
  4. KellyHM

    KellyHM Crowing

    Sep 10, 2008
    Lakeland, FL
    They should be kept separate until about 2-3 months so they are big enough to handle the older hens. Even then it will depend on the temperament of your hens.
  5. tinkarooni

    tinkarooni In the Brooder

    Sep 29, 2008
    I'm kind of feeling my way through this right now. 9 chicks hatched from eggs under their Mamas on 4th of July. I was keeping them seperate while the hens sat on the eggs, than when they were born they didn't really come off the nest much for the first few days. Than I had them seperated with a fence. I read a few people said to let them out so I tried, carefully. Now the peeps are with their mamas and not seperated at all. The hens are wonderful Mamas and squawk and carry on at any other hen that comes close to the peeps. The peeps are free to range but the Mamas take them outside for about an hour in the morning while I hover, then they go back in for the day. Hopefully everything continues to go smoothly but we're kind of taking the attitude that the hens naturally know what to do....and I had REALLY broody hens.
  6. newchickmom

    newchickmom Songster

    Nov 8, 2007
    Lafayette, Indiana
    I left mine with the flock. Mama took care of them and chased away other hens that came too close.


    Last edited: Jul 18, 2009
  7. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    You are dealing with living animals so anything can happen, but I believe it is better to let the chicks start free ranging with the flock as soon as they come off the nest.

    Bad things can happen, especially if you have a very wimpy broody, but what normally happens is that another chicken will get too close to or threaten a chick, mama will severely reprimand the offender, a lesson will be learned, and the other chickens will then leave the chicks alone. It seldom takes more than one or two reprimands before the whole flock has learned the lesson. And don't interfere with mama. She needs to teach that lesson.

    I've seen posts where people think a rooster is more dangerous to the chicks than the other hens. I don't agree with that. A good rooster will protect all members of his flock. But if mama needs to discipline a rooster, she usually will unless she is wimpy.

    To me, the benefits of mama raising them with the flock, other than the convenience, is that the chicks normally develop better immunities if raised with the flock and mama takes care of the serious integration issues. They will still have to handle their own pecking order issues when they are weaned, but these tend to be much less severe than integration issues. I think the dangers to the young chicks is less with mama around than the dangers of integrating partially or fully grown chickens.
  8. crackertrail

    crackertrail In the Brooder

    Feb 28, 2009
    Hardee County
    My mama chicken wanted out with her babies to join the other hens after a day or so. She was happier and the babies had no problems. Their daddy would herd them back if they wandered too far!
  9. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

    Nov 18, 2007
    My Coop
    I agree with the other post. I did a lot of research before I got my birds.

    Gail Damerow's 'Storey's Guide to Chickens' is an excellent resource, as well as this web site which is an excellent source of information.

    These sites are especially helpful in selecting breeds.
    Henderson's Chicken Breed Chart

    Also here are some other good sites and info and more good links.
  10. Judy

    Judy Crowing

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    I very much agree with Ridgerunner, and this is what I do, and I have had no problems, now on the second batch of chicks.

    It is true that some chicken moms will not do a good job of raising them, just as some will never go broody, or will abandon the nest after a few days or so. Since I want a flock that can take care of its own young, a stong and healthy flock, I want to know which ones will do a good job of raising chicks.

    Personal choice.

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