does mom HAVE to stay with babies?


It Is What It Is
10 Years
Jun 23, 2009
I have nine chicks going on three weeks old. does the mom have to stay with them. I want to get the chicks used to me and with mom being so wild I can't get to them. She is one of our game hens and she has never been very easy to get close to and now her chicks are the same way. I have them in all in a pen together. Mom sure would be a lot happier outside the pen since she is used to free range. What to do What to do.
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No. I've taken away hens before that were too rough with the chicks - furiously scratching, kicking chicks everywhere, etc. They will be fine without her. Just make sure that they don't get cold at night. They may need a little bit of heat from a low watt light bulb for a little while.
As long as you or the mama teaches them to eat and drink, no need for the mother hen at all! They must be warm at night or during bad weather. I have two different brooder boxes in my coop. One is solid wood except for the hardware cloth over the openings in the tops and the other is on the floor surrounded with chicken wire and has an old screen door for the top (easy to open and shut). Wooden one is half way up the wall and used as a cool weather brooder box with heat lamps above it. One on floor is the summer brooder box.
Haven't thought about keeping them warm. Hmmm, I will have to work on that one. Where their pen is that will be a challenge, but nothing a very long extension cord can't handle. I can use one of those hanging lamps we use. if they get too hot they will move from it, right?

Just can't say enough how much BYC has helped me on this adventure. I love my chicks and really like having them for pets.

Thank Ya'll -- Love Ya''ll.....
When I tried to separate my Austrolorp from her babies before she was ready, she was frantic and lost her mind squaking and carrying on and nipping at all the other hens and me. After about 4 hours, I caved in and put her back in with her babies.

A week later, she started chasing them away from the food and I knew it was time for her to go back in with the adults. When I moved her that time, she was as happy and as calm as could be. Although she is still mean to all the other hens (she's just a bully).

Good luck
Take the chicks away at night, while all the chickens are asleep. By the time the hens wake up it's almost as though they've completely forgotten they were ever mothers. If you take them away during the day the hen will act frantic for a few hours, and I don't like to put them through that.

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