HELP !!! Baby chicks discovered and its MID OCT!!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by camp4409, Oct 14, 2016.

  1. camp4409

    camp4409 New Egg

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    I was given a rooster in July so I had a black hen that came up missing about 3 weeks ago. I found where she was laying so I fed and watered here there. I had a couple others that did the same for a few weeks but produced nothing so I figured she would be the same. Today I found her roaming around in the barn with 4 lil chicks. Needless to say, it was a heart-pounding few minutes to trying to get them snatched up into safety before the cats found them. Now I haven't a clue what to do. They are in a large dog crate with food and water in the barn, mommy is keeping them warm but our temps are 50's and 40's at night, soon to be even colder. I don't know if she will be able to keep them warm enough or if they will be able to get out during the day to roam around. It very well could be 50's, 40's and even 30's during the day within the month.
    Any suggestions would be very helpful! I have never had to raise chicks in the fall. Should I put a divider in the large coop with the rest of the hens and keep heat on them? Bring them inside without momma? I really don't want to take them from her.
    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. minihorse927

    minihorse927 Whipper snapper Premium Member

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    I could imagine the surprise!

    Mama will take care of them as long as you provide food and water. She will keep them plenty warm. I have a couple hens caring for 4 chicks they hatched off last week and I hit freezing this morning. As long as she has a safe place to raise them and they can't get away from her and get lost then she will do fine with them.
     
  3. Newmamabear

    Newmamabear Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Not to worry she will keep them toasty warm. They are amazing creatures [​IMG] Make sure they have thier chick starter (not laying mash.. Lots of sad stories on here where the chicks just up and die due to the heavier calcium content) and they'll be good to go. I personally would keep them in the main coop partitioned off with their own food and water and cozy corner and she will look after the rest. [​IMG][​IMG]
     
  4. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    [​IMG]

    Whatever you need to do to keep them safe from the cats, especially while they sleep.

    Besides that, momma's got this covered. She'll keep them toasty and warm. They'll be out and about, running all over the place no matter how cold it is. When they need to, they'll pop back under momma for a warm-up, then back out in the world. If you've only brooded chicks in a brooder, you'll be amazed at how well they handle cold temps, and how much faster this group will feather out.

    No additional heat needed for them.
     
  5. camp4409

    camp4409 New Egg

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    Thank you all for your help! My main concern is how long can the babies be out and about in the cold temps? I don't know if they could even take like 5 min out from under her. I want them to be able to roam in a safe place but that means not being able to keep them at 80' (like a heat lamp) at all times. I've always assumed that they cant take cold temps for any amount of time. I've only raised them via heat lamp from day one. So this momma hen thing is all new to me. I want her to be able to get out and roam also so not sure how any of this works! lol
    I do think I will have to move them to a divided area of the main coop but should I also put a heat lamp in their area? Will mamma be too warm? So many questions going through my mind. She needs one thing and the chicks need another! lol
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2016
  6. minihorse927

    minihorse927 Whipper snapper Premium Member

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    They do not need a heat source. They will be fine and she will keep them warm. When they need to warm back up they will run under her. Just give them a good safe area to roam in and food and water and they will be just fine
    Don't worry, she will know how to take care of them and will do good.
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2016
  7. minihorse927

    minihorse927 Whipper snapper Premium Member

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    [​IMG]
    These guys hatched a couple weeks ago and they have already been through a couple nigjts below freezing. They run around for 15 and 20 minutes at a time and pop under mama for a few and back out.
     
    1 person likes this.
  8. Lomasi

    Lomasi Out Of The Brooder

    I had a hen go broody in late August so I put an assortment of eggs under her. She hatched 10 eggs on Sept 3 and they are doing beautifully. At 6 weeks old they now are the first ones out of the coop in the morning and mama takes them in and out all day. the other 6 hens and 2 roosters are totally cool with them. My wonder is about when will she wean them from her? I am getting 5 more babies soon from a friend that are 5 weeks old now. I'm wondering if My babies will take to them since they are all small, or does that matter in chickenland?
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2016
  9. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    From your response I can see you are having trouble accepting this, but Momma is their heat source. She can handle it. You’ll be surprised at how long they can stay out from under her, eating, drinking, scratching, and just playing. Just give Momma a chance. Don’t make it harder on yourself and the chickens by putting heat where it is not needed. The cats can be a danger but other than the cats all you need to do is provide food and water where the chicks can get to it. Leave the rest to Momma.
     
    1 person likes this.
  10. minihorse927

    minihorse927 Whipper snapper Premium Member

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    typically 6 to 8 weeks is time for mama to bail on them. I have a hen who leaves them at 4 weeks. A little young but they manage. She still lets them by her at night but during the day she hides from them. I've watched her and will say she keeps an eye on them but makes sure they can't see her. If they do find her she runs and hides again. I think she would help them if they were in trouble but otherwise she is hands off at 4 weeks.
     

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