Do I separate mother and babies from flock?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Milkshakeroo, Oct 19, 2019.

  1. Milkshakeroo

    Milkshakeroo Chirping

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    69972D73-A444-4D45-BA76-45789F9F31C3.jpeg My Ancona had her 6 eggs that were 3 days from hatching stolen in the night by a predator so I popped in 1 day old babies from the feed and fodder store under her. She has adopted them just fine. Do I allow them to integrate with the rest of the flock from the start or separate them for protection? I have 3 other hens and one rooster.
     
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  2. MysteryChicken

    MysteryChicken Crowing

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    I'd separate for about 6-7 weeks before letting mom, & babies back into the flock. I've done this twice now, with success.
     
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  3. ChocolateMouse

    ChocolateMouse Crowing

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    My biggest concern would not be the flock (mama hen should manage to keep the chicks safe from the flock) but whatever nabbed the eggs.
     
  4. Milkshakeroo

    Milkshakeroo Chirping

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    Pretty sure it was the neighbours big tomcat (it hangs around the budgies aviary a lot) so I have started locking the trapdoor into the coop again. The only other predators we get are foxes and only 6 eggs were taken so probably not a fox.
     
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  5. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Crossing the Road

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    I prefer to leave my broody and chicks in with the flock. When the babies are little, mama will protect them from the other hens. My roosters have always been protective of the babies. The advantage to this is, the babies will integrate more quickly with the flock. Mama has those protective broody hormones going, so no one is going to mess with them. They learn to be proper chickens, and know their place in the flock. If you wait until they're older, mama isn't nearly as protective. Hens often wean their babies between 5-8 weeks. So then you're putting them in with the flock and they have to fend for themselves. They haven't learned how to behave around dominant flock members and are more likely to get pecked. The very first time I let my hen stay with the flock with young chicks, she was killed by a raccoon when the chicks were about 5 weeks old. But they were already integrated, so it was no big deal. The adults pretty much just left them alone.
     
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  6. penny1960

    penny1960 Yippy Do Da, Yipptye Ay!

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    If you can leave them but be sure to be able to watch them if any start after a peep
    agree with the others that way
     
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  7. Milkshakeroo

    Milkshakeroo Chirping

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    Thanks for that. I have put a screen between the mother and the other chickens as the mother is looking poorly and keeps closing her eyes. Not sure if this is the right thing to do. Might take it down in a few days if she looks a bit better.
     
  8. I have removed them from the flock before with mixed results but this time I am leaving her with the flock in the nesting box she picked. I’m done trying to think I know better than the chicken. She has picked a nesting box about 3’ off the ground so when it gets a couple days before hatching time I will add more wood chips on the floor in that area for extra cushion.
     
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  9. MysteryChicken

    MysteryChicken Crowing

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    Last time I left babies with the flock, mom decided she had to try hatching a fake egg, leaving her babies alone. One baby got out of the coop, & was running all over our yard peeping it's little head off, the second one I found cold wet, & almost dead. I separated them, because it wasn't going to work.

    Second separation was because the babies couldn't get up in the nesting box with mom.

    The very first time is when I had chicks being raised with the flock, first 3 days were fine, next day a baby got stepped on by an older flock mate, & end up with a broken toe. So I separated babies from mom, & raised the chicks myself. I didn't want to take the chance of the babies getting hurt by the flock mates.
     
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