Free Range Chicks ???

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by 6694deb, May 17, 2010.

  1. 6694deb

    6694deb Chirping

    9
    0
    60
    Apr 18, 2010
    Minnesota
    I have 4 hens and one rooster who during the day are free range. They go back into the coop at night after which we close the doors for the night. 2 of my hens are now in the process of hatching a total of 15 eggs. At last check 6 of them had fully hatched with one being 1/2 out of shell. {very exciting for me as this is my first hatching}.
    So far I've left them be. They are in the community nest which I check everyday to pull out the new eggs from the other 2 hens. The eggs started hatching yesterday. We did put a container of water specially for the chicks in the nesting area. My question is -- Do we have to separate them??? Can we let nature take its course letting the mom's take care of them as they would if we weren't watching every move they make?? If we separate them do we cage the hens and the babies or {sob, sob} take the babies away from the moms.
    I really want to make sure my babies survive so any and all suggestions will be greatly appreciated. We do plan on going to the feed store tomorrow to buy chick starter.
     

  2. jennh

    jennh Songster

    Jun 21, 2007
    Lititz
    One of my hens hatched out some eggs I had gotten from this BYC. There are 3 hens that are "mothering" 2 chicks. It is SO rewarding to witness the interaction between the hens and the chicks. Let them stay with their "mothers". They *teach* them all kinds of things. My chicks will be 2 wks old on Wed. You should have seen the mommy hens showing the chicks a worm [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  3. SpringChickens

    SpringChickens Songster

    Feb 1, 2009
    College Station, Tx
    We always free ranged ours.

    We never separated ours - our mommas did a great job taking care of them all by themselves. We just put out some chick starter in an area that the momma and babies could get to it (and the rest of the hens couldn't... ) and they took care of the rest. The momma's did a great job! We only lost a few and none of them were the momma hen's fault.

    Good luck.
     
  4. jennh

    jennh Songster

    Jun 21, 2007
    Lititz
    One of my hens hatched out some eggs I had gotten from this BYC. There are 3 hens that are "mothering" 2 chicks. It is SO rewarding to witness the interaction between the hens and the chicks. Let them stay with their "mothers". They *teach* them all kinds of things. My chicks will be 2 wks old on Wed. You should have seen the mommy hens showing the chicks a worm [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Jen
     

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