Brooder to Coop?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Biscuitchicken, Mar 6, 2015.

  1. Biscuitchicken

    Biscuitchicken Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 17, 2014
    So I have a somewhat complicated situation. I have 23 3 week old chicks in a brooder. They are beginning to get a slight bit cramped and within a week or so I'm going to need to give them new accommodations. I also have 2 Broody hens raising 4 about a week old chicks in my coop with possibly a few more to come. The coop is set up in a way that the chicks cant get out or fall to the ground and there is way more room in there. The broody hens are copper muran bandy mix. Would those broody hens adopt the 23 chicks? I also have a copper muran/ bandy rooster and 5 adult rhode island red hens. Would any of those hurt these chicks? I just wanting to know they will be safe if I put them in the coop.
     
  2. kaylabeans28

    kaylabeans28 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Its best to slowly introduce them into the coop and to the others. Hens with babies will be more aggressive but also sweet toward young if they have young. We have two separate rooms in the coop, one for ducks, and the other for chicks who are being moved into the coop. They get a roost and their own feed and water, the others can't get to them, and they get used to the noises. Its always best to introduce them slowly to lessen the amount of pecking. Once they start pecking and break skin you will obviously need to separate them, because when they see blood they won't leave them alone. I hope this helps!
     
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    That is complicated isn’t it? There are many different issues there.

    What is your weather like? How warm is it, mainly overnight lows? I’ve had a broody hen wean her chicks at three weeks age, but that was in the heat of a warm summer. Most places won’t be warm enough right now for chicks to not need supplemental heat regardless of which side of the equator you are on. Part of the concern is that they are not acclimated if they have been kept in warm conditions.

    Some broody hens will try to adopt about any chick, but most hens and chicks imprint on each other and don’t want any others around. It’s possible your hens will try to adopt those chicks, but not likely. Even if they want to, the chicks might resist. Besides, could those hens keep that many chicks warm at night? Not likely. Three things are possible if you try to give those chicks to the broodies. They might try to adopt them, they might just ignore them, or they might consider them as rivals to their chicks and attack them. What I think is most likely is that they would ignore them, but when those chicks came round theirs, they would drive them off.

    Chickens are living animals so no one can guarantee you what will happen. My roosters have never threatened a baby chick, some even help Mama out occasionally. But I integrate mine when they are pretty young. My brooder is in the coop, so the rooster is more likely to think of them as his offspring, not a rival’s. At three weeks I’d think you would be OK on that aspect with the rooster, but I haven’t waited that long for him to know they are there. Your rooster is probably not the danger.

    The other hens are more of a risk. Contrary to what you read on here, they don’t always go out of their way to attack young chicks. Mine generally ignore them. But if a young chick invades the personal space of another adult hen, that hen is likely to peck it to drive it away. Sometimes the chick runs away and that is the end of it, but sometimes the hen follows to do damage. The hens are a risk.

    I understand you need to get them out of the house. I have two suggestions. If you can partition off an area in the coop where the chicks can be safe behind a fence from the other chickens and you can safely provide heat, move them out there. You don’t have to heat the whole area, just give them a warm place to go to when they need to warm up, much like a broody hen does. She does not heat the universe, just warms them up when they need it. In about three weeks you can try to integrate them with the others. A lot of broody hens wean their chicks at four weeks, leave them alone to make their way with the flock after that. If you have a lot of room it may work, or you may find you have to wait a little longer.

    Another possible way to do it is to set up a bigger brooder in an outbuilding or maybe your garage. A lot of people make one using big appliance boxes, taping them together and covering the top if they need to. At least this gets them out of your house.

    Good luck. It is a bit complicated but you will manage.
     
  4. Biscuitchicken

    Biscuitchicken Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 17, 2014
    Thank you, this does help. Not exactly the answer I wanted to hear, but helps to confirm what I didn't really want to do! I guess I'll be sectioning off an area of my coop this weekend!
     
  5. Biscuitchicken

    Biscuitchicken Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 17, 2014
    Thanks Ridgerunner and Kayla. You guys have helped me tons. I have a plan now. I already knew that i was going to have to make my run and coop bigger. I made my brooder out of plywood. Its about 8' x 2', but it's split in half as I raised 8 ducks on the other side. I think as I expand the coop and run, I will somehow attached the brooder to the coop and section off an area for them where they are safe from the others. I do have power in my coop, so providing heat will not be a problem!
     

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