Chicks and mama in with flock

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by 1ooEEoo1, Apr 17, 2012.

  1. 1ooEEoo1

    1ooEEoo1 New Egg

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    A couple of nights ago I slipped 8 day-old chicks under my broody who had been sitting for two weeks. I divided the coop allowing for 12-15' sq for the new brood. The chicks have been out and about in the afternoons, and the broody seems unflustered (if a bit bemused)--all appears to be well.

    My inclination is to dismantle the barrier I created and to allow the chicks and the flock at large to mingle, this is how I remember it was done when I was a kid, though I had no role in the actual management of the birds. I have bought organic chick starter in bulk to feed universally along with crushed oyster shells to be made available for the layers.

    The main thing I am concerned about is will the tiny chicks be able to navigate their way back into the coop if they get out during the next two weeks, or so? The door to the coop is raised off the ground by about 18 inches (the coop itself is about 12 ins off the ground), with a ramp, etc. After a couple of weeks I thought I'd make a shelter with slats on the side so that the chicks can get through but the adults can't, to afford them some shelter in case of bullying, though this protection would not be in effect at night/early morning. They have a big pen enclosed by electric poultry netting which I normally open up once I let them out of the coop in the morning so the birds roam freely over the (large) yard.

    I'm interested in hearing from people who've had success with this approach. Modifications, pitfalls, etc., gratefully heard too.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2012
  2. 1ooEEoo1

    1ooEEoo1 New Egg

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    Bump. Anyone?
     
  3. Lacrystol

    Lacrystol Hatching Helper

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    Did the mommy adopt the chicks or is she still sitting? If she adopted them, then she will show them the way.. Otherwise they may get lost and need someone to guide them until they get the hang of things.
     
  4. Lacrystol

    Lacrystol Hatching Helper

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    The only kind of similar thing that I did was when my hen hatched out chicks, is made a hole underneath the door so that the chicks could go in and out but the mother was right there to show them the way. She would go up and over the board where the door connects while the chicks woud go threw the hole underneath the board of the door. if that makes sense, since they weren't able to hop up to go threw the doorway this little plan of mine seemed to do the trick....
     
  5. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    I've had 5 or 6 batches of chicks raised by a mama in with the flock, with no problems. The chicks didn't need any additional protection from the other hens, or the roo; the mama took care of this. This is definitely my preference, because the chicks are already a part of the flock when the mama quits mothering. Mine didn't have to go up a ramp, but this should not be a problem for them. If they won't go back in the coop, the mama should cover them wherever they gather to sleep. Or, she will call them to go up the ramp.
     
  6. AZ_HenHouse

    AZ_HenHouse Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My mama hen raises hers in the flock. She currently has 7 (5 she hatched and 2 we slipped under her) and they are with the big girls. She won't let the big girls bother them and like Flockwatcher said--they are already part of the flock when they grow up.

    Did I mention that mama is a banty and the rest of the girls are all standards? Gotta lonve the mama hen[​IMG]
     
  7. Ole rooster

    Ole rooster Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mine knew to go back in but didn't know how. The mama hen went in but the chicks couldn't figure out the ladder. So I put them on the top rung of the ladder and they would go in. I had one that would always wait to be last and would come to me for help. She was the runt. But she caught on and now of all things, she happens to be the boss of the 4 pullets I kept. She's the boldest also. I sold the 2 cockerels.
     

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