Chicks wanting to join the flock - does the flock protect chicks?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by RedOkra, Oct 18, 2011.

  1. RedOkra

    RedOkra Out Of The Brooder

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    My hen hatched out my first ever three chicks on Sept 19th - they are kept in a separate brooder with a small outdoor run. However, in the last few days they have figured out how to escape and I look out the window to see them running around with the rest of the flock happily while poor mamma bird screeches helplessly trapped. I havent been able to figure out where they are getting out, and once out, they cant figure out how to get back in.

    I'm in favor of doing things as naturally as possible, so Id like to release mom and her babies to be with the rest of the flock, but I guess the one thing I'm most worried about is daytime predators like hawks. My rooster is very protective of his flock and seems alert to hawks, would he and/or the flock be inclined to protect the babies? Anybody have experience/advice?
     
  2. silkielover5

    silkielover5 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    the mom will protect them from the rest of flock without the mom the others will kill the chicks
     
  3. Marcymom3

    Marcymom3 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Just wondering if the chicks have their feathers yet? Is it warm enough where you live for them to be running around outside? Maybe it would be a good idea to shore up their pen to keep them close to their mom and away from the other adults for a few more weeks.
     
  4. SteveBaz

    SteveBaz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would let the mom out to protect her babies. W/O her they are at the mercy of the flock. How many is your flock? Get them back to a safe fenced and guarded area that's separate from the rest for the most protection. She will do her job and get them back near or under her.
     
  5. RedOkra

    RedOkra Out Of The Brooder

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    The other birds arent showing any interest in the chicks at all. Every time they've escaped, I've found them right in the middle of the flock scratching and eating with the rest of the hens. As far as I can see, the other hens dont even notice the chicks.

    If I do release them, should I keep the brooder open or will she want to return to the big coop for sleeping?
     
  6. RedOkra

    RedOkra Out Of The Brooder

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    I live in NM - I was worried about the weather as well but was given advice by other BYC members to go ahead with the hatch. The chicks have wing feathers and just about all of the rest is fluff. They seem very content though, they aren't huddling up with momma hen until it gets dark, and are always running around in the sun during the day. They dont seem to be seeking heat the way my flock did this spring when they were raised under a lamp.

    I have one rooster and 16 hens. They have a 1/4 acre run. (wyandottes, orpingtons, plymouth rocks, and black cochins).
     
  7. silkielover5

    silkielover5 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    be careful cause if the chicks get out of the pen and cant get back in they will freeze to death without mom already had that happen couple days ago
     
  8. NinnyGillaspie

    NinnyGillaspie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    'm in Texas, and already plan on weather sheeting, heating lamps, lots of warm oatmeal with crumbles, and veggies.[​IMG]
     

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