Babysitting the chicks?

d0tski

In the Brooder
6 Years
Sep 10, 2013
31
2
24
Southern Tasmania, Australia
During the day, we let the four hens out to freerange, and mama hen stays in the pen with her 7 three week old chicks. I can see mama would like to come and scratch around outside.

My question is, should I let her out and bring the chicks inside for an hour? Will she accept them back? Will she just fret?

I admit I'd love to be able to spend some time with the chicks, but mostly I'd just like to do what's best for them.

Bec
 

Majd

Songster
9 Years
Jun 22, 2012
932
52
191
Just let her take them out.... they are old enough and more than enough to go out with moma and learn how to scratch around and forrage.... the best for them is staying with moma and she'll do the rest.... fun to watch.... don't worry they're gonna be so happy and safe if you don't have predators around.... then the whole flock will be threatened and you should supervise them while out..
 

ChickenLegs13

Songster
6 Years
Sep 4, 2013
1,401
194
143
Lower Alabama
If you separate the it will stress both the hen & bittys because instesd of scratching and relaxing the hen will run around frantically clucking and looking for her bittys and the bittys will be cheeping frantically wanting their momma back.
Just let them all go out together. If you have preds in the area don't leave them unsupervised or your bittys will disappear 1 by 1 until you have none left.
 

d0tski

In the Brooder
6 Years
Sep 10, 2013
31
2
24
Southern Tasmania, Australia
Thanks guys :) The only daytime predator I'd be concerned about is possibly a hawk, but we live in bushland, so there are hundreds of safe places. I wouldn't let her and the babies out unsupervised! I'm far too protective of the bittys. I just need to learn to trust that she won't lose one.

I think the reason I'm nervous is that we only got her and the chicks a week ago, and we haven't been able to 'bond' with the hen because she is (understandably) obsessed with protecting her babies. She is still quite skittish, and I'm worried that she'll run away with them? Even as I'm typing, I see I'm being silly!

I will let them out soon. I may need a glass of wine. My own kids catching the bus alone for the first time wasn't this scary!

Bec
 

ChickenLegs13

Songster
6 Years
Sep 4, 2013
1,401
194
143
Lower Alabama
Thanks guys :)
I think the reason I'm nervous is that we only got her and the chicks a week ago, and we haven't been able to 'bond' with the hen because she is (understandably) obsessed with protecting her babies. She is still quite skittish, and I'm worried that she'll run away with them? Even as I'm typing, I see I'm being silly!

I will let them out soon. I may need a glass of wine. My own kids catching the bus alone for the first time wasn't this scary!

Bec


LOL! Typical hen clucking over her babies. As long as the hen (the one with feathers) has accepted the pen as her new home she won't run off with her bittys. If you're worried about it just let them out shortly before dark so they won't go far, and they won't have time to stray, runaway or get lost and will go into the pen on their own at roost time.
 

MANNA-PRO

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