Chicks falling out of two story coop, unable to climb up


12 Years
Aug 19, 2010
Vancouver, WA
My broody hen hatched 11 baby chicks. She is doing a good job protecting the babies from the other hens. Unfortunately, my coop is a two story design with a steep entry board from the base level. Yesterday, my broody hen took the chicks outside for their first day. The hen and chicks did well. But during dusk, the chicks weren't able to get up the steps. Most of the chicks were two to four days old. The hen decided to stay hunkered down underneath the coops steps. Unfortunately, the position she picked is not protected from the weather nor is it safe from predators. Also, when any of the adult hens came close, momma hen challenged them which led to lots of chest bumping. I relocated, with great difficulty, mom and babies to nesting box. Today, one of the chick fell out of the second story. Lots of noise from mom and child. The wind was blowing hard with heavy rain so the threat of hypothermia was very serious. Frustrated, I borrowed my neighbors very large dog crate and housed mom and babies inside. The crate should work for a week until the babies get bigger. My question is, what do you folks do about housing in a situation like mine? Also, what age will the babies be big enough to navigate the adult sized entrance steps?
Momma hen did what she is supposed to do when she ran off other hens who got too close. She is protecting her chicks. The chicks should be able to get up and down the ramp in a few days or a week. I'm not so sure they can't now. They may just not know what to do. They can actually fly better when young than as adults. Separating them for longer than a day or so may lead to problems with reintegration. If mama and the chicks stay separated til the mama decides they are grown up in a month or two, the chicks will probably need to be kept out of the flock til they are adult size.
It might be, that after one week of being in the dog crate that the babies will be big enough to navigate the ramp.

However, you will just have to wait and see, no way to know until they try.

Good luck!
Thanks for the replies. Drumstick Diva, other than being very scared, the little chick was OK. Come Tuesday, the oldest chick will be a week old, the youngest will be four days old. I will try another integration/relocation into the coop in a week, during my weekend. Hopefully things will work out a little better than yesterday.
Update - I put mom and chicks in a dog crate while I was out of town for a weekend. My neighbor kept an eye on them and made sure the crate was clean, and topped up with fresh water. When I got home, I returned mom and babies to the coop's upper floor. Yesterday, nobody fell out, though mom stayed in the coop until 2:00 pm. She then spent the whole day outside. Before dawn, she huddled the chicks underneath the coop's upper floor steps. I returned mom and company to a nesting box, last night. Today mom spent the entire day outside with her babies. Just before dawn, she was able to lead her chick army up the second floor ladder and back to the nesting box. Since the chicks and mom are spending all day outside, should I place the chick feeder in the lower floor for easier access? Right now, I only keep the layer feed feeder on the lower floor.
I would take the layer feed out completely. The chicks will eat it eventually and the added calcium is hard on their kidneys. Feed the entire flock the chick starter or grower--it's fine for the older birds and rooster--and offer your layers either their eggshells or oyster shell. This is how I feed my entire flock--never use layer--cause I always have mixed age or gender birds. This way the hens that need more calcium can get it, the birds that don't need it don't have to stress their bodies processing it.
Donrae, great idea did as you said. Micha, there are no more chicks falling out. Mom leads her babied out of the coop around 8:00 am when it warms up a little. She is dilligent to bring everybody back inside the coop at dusk. She then beds in a nesting box for teh night while the babies are huddled underneath her. The first two that hatched, ten days ago, have nearly doubled in size. The gave very nice wing feathers and pointed tail feathers.

I am unsure what exact breeds they are since they are a barnyard mix. The black ones have coloring similar to Black Cooper Marans. the brown ones look like either Welsummers or Rhode Island Reds. The blonde ones are getting white wing feathers. All of them have fuzz/down on thie leg shanks. I was told the dad is a very handsome Rhode Island rooster and the moms are similar hens as well as Barred Rocks and a single NH. That still doesn't explain the down leg shanks on every bird. Do any of you folks have an ideas. When the rainfall decreases below flood stage, I will try to take some pictures.

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom