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chicks with hen question

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Niss, Jul 1, 2011.

  1. Niss

    Niss Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a hen in a 3 by 3 cage due to hatch some chicks on tue. I had planned to keep them locked untill they are done hatching--that will also keep the other chickens out of the starter feed.

    How long do the chicks need tp be seperated from the flock when under mama's care?

    thanks! I've been so excited I didn't really plan for once they get here.
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    People do it a lot of different ways. Some of how you do it will depent in the personality of your chickens and how much space you have.

    By personality I mean that some flocks have chickens (usually hens) in them that will search out and try to destroy young chicks. Most flocks don't have those, but some do. Most broodies will defend their chicks. Most, but not all. Some roosters protect all members of their flock, including baby chicks, even from other chickens. Some don't. Most of the time, the other chickens will ignore the babies unless they get in the older chickens personal space. Then they will probably peck the chick. If the peck is just a reminder that they really should not be that far away from Mommy, the broody pretty much ignores the peck. If it is a vicious, I'm going to kill you, type peck, the broody will probably protect her chick. With most flocks it is not a problem, but sometimes it is.

    If they have room, most broodies keep their chicks on the outskirts of the flock. This avoids conflict with other chickens. Sometimes they do OK in fairly tight spaces, but the more space you have, the less likely their is to be a conflict.

    I don't know how tight your overall space is. Assuming a reasonable amount of space, what I would suggest is that you keep Mama and the babies in their enclosure for maybe two days after she brings them off the nest. Just long enough for them to get used to eating and drinking without any interference from the older chickens. Then let Mama bring them out to meet the flock. I will not guarantee that this will work, but it is very close to the way I do it.

    Editted to add: I assume your cage has the wire tight enough that the chicks cannot get through it. They are in real danger if they can get through the wire and mix with the rest of the flock if Mama is locked up where she cannot protect them.
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2011
  3. ChickyLoo

    ChickyLoo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have chicks waiting to hatch next couple days. I plan to put mama & chicks next to the run in an enclosed cage with a little run for them to roam a bit with mama. I haven't decided when is the best time to integrate them but I want to see how the others react to having these new guys around. It will be fun to see them all together [​IMG]
     
  4. monkeemakr

    monkeemakr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am really interested in hearing this too. I just recently decided to go the natural way and let the hen do the work with the chicks. I've got 4x8 breeding pens and I was going to let the mommas and chicks stay in there until the chicks feather out. But I am not sure when to remove the roo, or should I just remove the mom and chicks to the raise up pen together? I 'm a little lost too. I'm not using roo's with any aggression, but I hate to learn hard lessons from experience. My little Silkie roo is a real gentleman and he helps the hen raise them, but I know that's just the Silkie. I'm trying to remember back from my childhood, and it seems Daddy used to let the hens hatch their brood in the henhouse, but he would take the mom and chicks out and put them in the yard right after they hatched. (There was a fence around it).
     
  5. Niss

    Niss Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the advice. The coop is tight, but they have a big run. Then when we are home they get to free range.

    I hadn' t thought about wire size...the cage is small holed (I have straw on the floor of it, may uae cardboard to keep little toes from gettong stuck). However the fence around the run is 2x3 welded wire...my little silkies still slip in and out at will. I just dont know what else to do with them when mom and chicks are to big for the cage I sequestered her in.

    I would think my flock isn't too bad. The last batch of chicks we got at the feedstore were not that old when we introduced them and there was very minimal pecking from the half grown or older gals.
     
  6. galanie

    galanie Treat Dispenser No More

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    My polish chick was able to easily fit through chicken wire until it was a few weeks old. So do take care of the wire size vs the chick size.

    In my case, it wasn't a big deal but it did get where momma couldn't protect it, it's just that momma didn't have anything to protect it against when it was there. So it upset her some when the little beggar wouldn't come back through but no real harm done.
     
  7. Dutchgirl

    Dutchgirl Not Dutch!

    Apr 1, 2008
    U.S.A.
    I believe it's best to wait until they are at least partially feathered on most of their body. Then we usually let the hen run loose (we free-range) so that the other chickens won't peck on them. Then, eventually, the mother hen will go by herself back to the rest of the flock. By that time the chicks should be able to fend for themselves, although ours still roost in a different place. However, they run with the older chickens daily, perch on the roosts in the daytime.
     
  8. ChickyLoo

    ChickyLoo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:So how is it going? I am thinking of giving mama & chicks more room if I have to wait for feathers or put the crate in the run but I'm not sure how to give mama room without the others being able to get to the chicks [​IMG] my hope is that they will stay close to mama's wings. Any suggestions from anyone? There are lots of threads of integration but I can't find one specfic to mama & chicks from existing flock. If anyone knows of an older thread please post a link. I've run out of search titles!

    Eta: thanks for the detailed post ridgerunner, your way makes sense but the other post of waiting for feathers has me confused.
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2011
  9. Niss

    Niss Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It's not going at all [​IMG]. No eggs have hactched and we're now on day 23. I'm getting very antsy, wellthe last three days I was, I think I'm calming down now. They'll either hatch or not hatch--I'm starting to deal with it.
     

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