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Can I take mother hen away?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by maddogdodge, Dec 13, 2014.

  1. maddogdodge

    maddogdodge Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've got 2 separate lots of (now 4 week old) chicks. One group of 7 and one group of 6, both lots being raised by different hens.

    Most of the chicks are just about fully feathered now (Its heading into summer here in Australia now so the weather is usually nice and warm). The hen with the group of 6 started laying the other day, she's also stopped calling them to food and she's started trying to get out of the pen when I open the door now.

    I was hoping eventually I'd be able to move the group of 6 in with the group of 7 once they don't need their mum's (It would make things so much easier for me and be a much better set up over all for the chicks).

    I reckon the hen who's laying will be pretty okay If I take her away from her chicks... however the other group's mum still seems fairly dedicated... What are the chances of me being able to introduce the smaller group of chicks in the the larger group and their mum without the mum hurting them? This would be my preferred option!

    If that is not an option... will the more dedicated mum fret for long If I take her away soonish? I don't really want to take her away from her chicks while she's still dedicated to them. But the group of 6 would really benefit from going in with the group of 7, their pen is much better set up for chicks!

    Thank you for anyones ideas/thoughts on my dilemma!
     
  2. speedy2020

    speedy2020 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't why not and combine 2 group of young chicks together. Both mother hens will start laying egg soon after.
     
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Even if/when the other broody was/is done tending her chicks, you might still likely have integration problems when putting all the chicks together.

    Was there a reason you did not let the mommas raise the chicks within the main flock?
    I assume you have other chickens.
    That can eliminate any integration issues if the mommas will protect their chicks.
     
  4. red horse ranch

    red horse ranch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This summer I had 6 hens either brooding eggs or chicks at the same time. I ran out of space to keep them separate so I had to take chicks from several of the hens and keep the chicks together in a brooder. The chicks adjust very quickly and within a day or two momma is out grazing with the others. I don't think it bothered the hens as much as it did me! [​IMG]
     
  5. maddogdodge

    maddogdodge Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I doubt there will be much problem mixing the chicks together once their mum's give up. They're all about the same size.

    I do have other chickens, and I would have let the chicks hatch in with the flock if it wasn't for crows. We have a massive crow problem here and I can guarantee I would have lost most if not all of my chicks if I raised them in with the flock.
     
  6. maddogdodge

    maddogdodge Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've taken one mum hen away because she was ready to go back with the flock. She wanted to get away from the chicks. So those chicks are now in a smallish cage in with the other group and their mum. They're safe but its not ideal because of the limited space they have. I really want to take the other mum hen out, but I just can't bring myself to do it, she loves her chicks! :(
     
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    I'm surprised the mum still with her chicks accepted the other group of chicks, that's great!
    Bummer about the crows, Yikes!
    Might need a mesh covered grow out run.
     
  8. maddogdodge

    maddogdodge Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well she doesn't have access to them, they're in a separate cage inside the coop/run. So she can see and talk to them, but not hurt them :)

    I have a fantastic fully enclosed run which is what the chicks are in now... too hard at the moment to build another. I think after this lot I'll only do one bunch at a time.
     

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