Broody hen has begun laying again, chicks at 6 wks - is it time for her to return to the flock?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by loeuf shack, Jun 12, 2016.

  1. loeuf shack

    loeuf shack Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 29, 2015
    Our broody has begun laying eggs this week - in the feed bucket! We have our chicks in a temporary run and coop, inside the main run, so she doesnt have access to the main coop or nest. Doesnt seem interested in returning to the flock yet and leaving the chicks - as she is pent up in the temp run, how will we know when its time? Does the fact that she has started laying again indicated she's ready, or is that irrelevant?

    Thanks - BTW, she's on medicated starter now - eggs edible?
     
  2. 1muttsfan

    1muttsfan Overrun With Chickens

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    Medicated feed contains a niacin inhibitor, not a "medication" in the sense of an antibiotic. Her eggs are edible.

    Usually when a hen starts laying again it means she is about done with baby raising, although she may still take an interest in them for a while. If you let them in with the other birds, though, you will have to make sure the others do not bully or injure the babies. You may have to separate them from the flock if they are not well accepted.
     
  3. SunHwaKwon

    SunHwaKwon Overrun With Chickens

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    At that age I would have already had the lot of them back with the flock. I reintegrate around 2 or 3 weeks old. If they have been able to see and interact with each other through the sides of the temporary run, I would go ahead and let them out. The other birds will likely push the chicks around a bit just to put them in their place but its nothing to worry about unless someone is over aggressive.
     
  4. loeuf shack

    loeuf shack Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks for all input. We have a rhode island red that's more aggressive than rest - only one I'm concerned about. What do you think about integrating the chicks with the flock, but quarantining the red in the temp quarters for a few days? Ive read that can be effective.

    Also, if integrating, how do you manage the feed - assume chicks still need to be on starter feed, and flock still needs layer. Any suggestions on how to manage that, or do you feed them all layer?
     
  5. SunHwaKwon

    SunHwaKwon Overrun With Chickens

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    I feed mine all flock with oyster shell on the side. Between having guineas, turkeys, a rooster, broodies and chicks, layer feed is not ideal for me! Roosters and broodies shouldn't eat layer feed, and chicks can eat all flock from the start.

    Regarding the red, I have one like that as well. However she doesn't chase anyone down, she's just a $#&%$ if anyone gets to close. The chicks catch on quick and learn who to avoid.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2016
  6. JodyJo

    JodyJo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I never separate mine...I change all feed to chick starter and allow mama to do the rest....

    I just had a mama hatch out all 7 of her eggs...the chicks are 2 days old, already mingling with the flock...I find it easier for them to integrate this way....

    you may want to segregate out your aggressive one...good idea.

    Again, as I stated, just is the easiest thing to do, switch food to chick starter, have oyster shell available, and feed till chicks reach POL.
     
  7. loeuf shack

    loeuf shack Out Of The Brooder

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    Got it - havent heard of all flock yet - but will give it a try for a few months until the chicks are ready for layer. Thanks.

    With the separate oyster shell, will the chicks know to avoid it?
     
  8. 1muttsfan

    1muttsfan Overrun With Chickens

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    Yes, the chicks will not eat much of the oyster shell, as long as there is regular grit available.

    Flock raiser is fine, you could also use a grower/finisher.
     

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