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Hatching in the communal coop. Am I crazy?? Does anyone actually do this?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by HarrisonCreek, Nov 14, 2015.

  1. HarrisonCreek

    HarrisonCreek Out Of The Brooder

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    I've got a clutch hatching under our Australorp in the communal coop. Am I crazy?? Does anyone actually do this? I thought it's natural, right? And I've only got 3 hens. The Light Sussex is sooo curious and now I'm worried I need to separate them!

    Have you ever done this and how did it go??
     
  2. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    Rest easy. This is how I do it all the time. I have a larger flock and a rooster and everyone is curious about the chicks but Momma lets them know to leave them alone. They grow up on the flock and there's no Big Integration Issues down the road.

    you do need to be sure you have plenty of space. With a small flock, I'm not sure how large your coop and run are. Babies need a place to go hide if an older hen decides they're a little punk and wants to go after them a minute. She'll usually give up after one or two feints, but having a place to break line of sight helps a lot.
     
  3. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    I don't isolate my broodies while they are sitting. I keep them in a dog kennel inside the coop, so that everyone can see and interact with each other, but none of the other hens can keep adding to the clutch.
    When the flock hears those chicks peeping, they all start carrying on, like they are cheering them on to finish hatching. Once they are all hatched and strong enough to run around, I open up the kennel and let momma do her thing. It makes integrate the chicks so much easier, and less stressful for everybody.
     
  4. HarrisonCreek

    HarrisonCreek Out Of The Brooder

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    Well, my big Light Sussex just tried to eat the little LS. I love that chick. the only LS of the brood and so curious and strong.

    She carried the chick out of the coop before Mama and I got her back.

    She drew blood on the neck - the chick was able to walk and stand and poop and is now falling asleep in the coop with the others.

    I'll need to build a separate run after all.

    Question is, should I take the chick out and put neosporin or anything on the wound? My daughters will be devastated if she dies. I was too trusting of the other hens. What are the chances the chick will survive?
     
  5. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Sits With Chickens Premium Member

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    I would leave the chick alone at this point, either it will make it or it won't.

    I always put my broody hen and her chicks in a wire pen inside the coop. Everyone can see them but no one can get them. I leave them in this pen until I feel the chicks are strong enough to keep up and get out of the way of other hens. Usually 1-2 weeks. Then I lock them back up at night for a few more weeks until I'm sure they can all take care of themselves and everyone is getting along.

    It can be quite normal for other hens to react that way to new chicks.
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2015
  6. HarrisonCreek

    HarrisonCreek Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks. I wish I'd gotten your advice earlier. [​IMG]
     
  7. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Sits With Chickens Premium Member

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    I had to learn the hard way as well, learned a lot of things about chickens that way. Hope your little one is okay, they are tougher than they look. You will also get some hen squabbles when you release your hen into the flock, so be prepared to mediate then as well. In the end it will be worth it, watching chicks growing up in a flock is pretty neat.
     
  8. HarrisonCreek

    HarrisonCreek Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks for the head's up. Little peep is still standing, but there's a 1" red gash above her left wing.
     
  9. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

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    As you can see from the replies here - we all do things differently either through choice or necessity (e.g the size of your coop etc). I prefer to let my alpha hen hatch, and i leave her in her nest until the chicks are born, then its down to a small broody coop. After 1-2 days, i leave the door to the broody coop open, so mum and chicks can do their thing. Since they are in the main coop, it seems that the rest of the flock is totally fine with the little ones and they only seem to start teaching them chicken manners when they get to around 4 weeks when the little boys seem to think they are already men! With my first hatch i was overprotective of the chicks, but these days, i just let them get on with it (I made this decision when i found that a couple of escape artist chicks had escaped the broody coop and were happily out with mum with the rest of the flock).

    Good luck in whatever you decide to do.
    CT
     
  10. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Sits With Chickens Premium Member

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    I have seen poultry heal up from some pretty horrific wounds and am always amazed, I might apply some bluekote if it looks red enough to attract attention from it's siblings, otherwise I don't usually touch wounds, I let them heal. You chick was hen hatched so he's probably a lot spunkier than shipped chicks. Good luck your way.
     

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