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Can I let mama raise them - is it warm enough out?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by ZaneyMama, Sep 20, 2010.

  1. ZaneyMama

    ZaneyMama Songster

    Feb 2, 2010
    Boulder, Colorado
    My broody EE is sitting on 5 eggs, due to hatch on Thursday. I'm hoping to get at least 1 chick!

    I'd like to leave the chick(s) with their mama in the coop in a small separate area from the 9 other hens - will it be warm enough in there for the chicks until they feather out?

    It's beginning to get cold here at night in Colorado. Down to 33 the other night. The coop is insulated and pretty warm.

    Also, if I want to let them run around outside with mom, can I do that even though it's not 95 degrees all the time?


  2. silkieroo

    silkieroo Songster

    Apr 14, 2010
    Durham NH
    Yep you can don't even need a heat lamp the mama will keep em nice and toasty... I just wouldn't let them outside if it snows!
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2010
  3. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    Quote:Agree. The babies will keep warm under mama hen!
  4. PepsNick

    PepsNick Back to Business

    May 9, 2010
    Egglanta, GA
    yeps! they should be great. i moved mine out at like 4 weeks (new chicken owner lol) and it rained and was freezing and they were so tough! but maybe that's just a wyandotte thing [​IMG]
  5. edselpdx

    edselpdx Songster

    Nov 10, 2008
    Portland, OR
    I slipped a few store-bought chicks under a broody a few weeks ago, and she is totally taking care of them well. They don't chirp all the time like brooder-only chicks, and "mama" seems to know just what to do for them. If they were in a brooder without a "mama", I'd be at about 80-85 degrees under a heat lamp with outside daytime temps in the high 60's to low 70's here, but these babies are doing great. Mama knows when they want to be warm, and how to teach them to look for food, and they are all inseparable. SOOOOOO much easier than raising without a mama in a brooder in the house and dealing with cheeping and dander and dust.

    As long as mama is taking care of them, don't take them away! Mine sat under mama for a few days, and then began venturing forth beyond the nest under her supervision. Do keep them in an area where the other (non-mama) chickens are so they don't get pecked or attacked. Mine are separated from the other two hens in the small flock by a plastic "chickenwire" fence within the run, with their own enclosed brooder hutch that they can come and go from at will. Please consider vaccinating for Marek's in the chicks/eggs to avoid having a carrier flock and heartbreak (my bought chicks were vaccinated while still in the egg at the local hatchery who supplies the store).

    When I recently allowed some supervised "playtime" in the main run with the other hens, there were no problems at all except when a chick got too far from mama and started crying; mama and the chick were frantic to get back together, and not quite smart enough to figure out how to get in the same space again through the slight maze in my runs.
  6. pgpoultry

    pgpoultry Songster

    Oct 16, 2009
    My broody mum is coping very well with her chicks outside in a small pen. We have already had frosts at night,

  7. lauriej57

    lauriej57 Chirping

    Sep 17, 2010
    Southwest Michigan
    If you have never had chicks raised by a mama hen, you are going to be amazed!

    I had my first ones this year, 3 of them. I also have 5 pullets, raised in a brooder, that are 3 months older than the chicks. The mama raised chicks are so much smarter! Mama teaches them everything they need to know, right from day number one.

    She showed them the food, the water, how to scratch for food right away. Took me a bit to figure this out, I could not figure out why every time I fed them, she scratched all the feed to the floor, hah, she was teaching them to scratch for their feed. At a week old, I gave them a couple of blueberries, mama broke them up into bite size pieces for her babies. At first, they pecked the bites from her beak, then she showed them the pieces on the floor. My 3 month olds looked at the blueberries, or any other kind of treat, like what do you want us to do with that?!

    She kept them warm, she'd herd them up when she thought danger was near. They learned that I was a big bad monster, I'm just now being allowed to touch them. She is my pet, but she would not let me near them, or them near me. As soon as my hand would get near one, she would peck at me, then herd them back into their little coop, and cover them up. They are 10 weeks old now, and she is still caring for them. It's been a wonderful amazing experience.

  8. FreeRunRevolution

    FreeRunRevolution In the Brooder

    Aug 26, 2010
    Another question on this topic---
    Great Thred! I am also new to raising chickens, got my first bathch of laying hens and rooster this spring.
    We had 7 chicks hatch about 3 weeks ago and thusfar they have been isolated in a brooder with mama hen keeping them warm.
    There is a 100watt bulb to suppliment some additonal heat but I would like to put them in the henhouse ASAP as it is much cozier and insulated...the evenings are getting chilly as I'm in northern Alberta (Canada).
    When is it safe to put the chicks and broody hen back with the flock? Will she protect them? or am I risking their injury and her stress to do it too soon?
    Thanks for any feedback [​IMG]

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