Hen going to have chicks, what do I do?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by CarlitosRussito, Aug 21, 2014.

  1. CarlitosRussito

    CarlitosRussito Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My hen is going to have chicks(about nine). This will be her second batch after her first one(one chick) died one week later. I have starter protien feed for them ready, and I plan to remove Russo(My Rooster) out until they are a few weeks old. Is this good enough? Also what are the sanitation conditions supposed to be like in the hen house. Any other info and tips will help, thanks!!!
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    There is no one "correct" way to do this. You can let her raise the chicks in with the flock, including the rooster. Usually it's the ens that bother the chicks, if anyone does, but a good broody/mama will protect her chicks and run off any aggressive hens til they wuit bothering her. The rooster will probably ignore the chicks although sometimes they help out raising them. After a few weeks, maybe 4 or 6 but it varies a lot, the others will have accepted the chicks as part of the flock, and the mama will just start pushing them away, return to the roost by herself, and bwgin laying again. Of course that's assuming things go "normally" -- which probably they usually do. I have let all mine grow up this way without a problem, but that's only 6 or 7 clutches. If you do this, the only thing you need to do for the chicks is change out the feed and feed everyone whatever you are feeding the chicks for about 4 months. Mama takes care of all their needs. You can put out a separate bowl of oyster shell for the laying hens -- the chicks won't really bother it. You can even feed the chicks chick feed medicated with amprolium and still eat the eggs.

    One of the advantages of raising chicks with the mama is they wind up eating small amounts of mama's poop, which builds their immunity, is good for them. Chicks raised this way generally mature faster, are healthier, and have a better mature weight --- or so I've read. I feel like this is true, but I dubt there are any scientific studies to demonstrate it. For more on broodies and chicks, here are two articles and one very good post. There are lots of threads here about them as well.

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/guide-to-letting-broody-hens-hatch-and-raise-chicks

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/broody-hens

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/693407/broody-bird-what-to-do/0_20#post_9400530 (post #5)
     
  3. CarlitosRussito

    CarlitosRussito Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Are chicks able to climb up ladders?
     
  4. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Yes, if you mean a ramp with cleats for traction. Some people also use a ladder type setup for a roost, on a slant so they hop from one level to the next.. Actually they can fly and hop higher than adults sometimes, once they are a few days old. For getting down, many a chick has been hatched in the loft of an old fashioned barn, and jumped/fallen to ground level on its own in a day or two, without a problem. Of course, they can't get back up, but if they are being raised by a mama, she just covers them in a new, ground level location.
     
  5. CarlitosRussito

    CarlitosRussito Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've noticed but, do I let sparrows enter the henhouse? they fly inside were the hen is, are they bad or do I leave them be. If they are a problem, I scare them off with my B-52 daisy slingshot.( no birds will be aimed at just scared!)[​IMG]
    or do they act as my hen's friends?
     
  6. ChickenRisa

    ChickenRisa Out Of The Brooder

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    I'm pretty new with all this, but I've got sparrows and finches and such that fly in and out of my chicken house all the time, swiping chicken food. I don't think they hurt the chickens themselves, and I had a broody hatch out four babies and have never seen them bothered by the wild birds either. I have read that wild birds can bring in lice and mites, so I guess watch for that. If any more experienced chicken keepers want to add I definitely won't mind. :)
     
  7. CarlitosRussito

    CarlitosRussito Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you all for such good advice! they will be here soon![​IMG]
     
  8. RoosterLew

    RoosterLew Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Wild birds also bring in disease. Yours may not be the only coop they are visiting. "Correct" bio security would say keep them out! Here in Kansas we had a very large & prominent heritage poultry operation completely wiped out by disease brought in due to wild birds.

    However, if you free range your birds are exposed anyway so I would not think it would be much different.

    Six of one, half dozen of another?

    Personally I enjoy bird watching and put feeders out for them.
     
  9. RoosterLew

    RoosterLew Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Our broody raised chicks are about 8 & 10 weeks now. (3 different broodies). We have a ladder roost, actually built from an old ladder Lol! They are climbing all over it.
    The last momma left her chicks at about 3 weeks, one of our Roosters took over brooding them. We have one coop that we use for raising chicks, broody hens and whatever other reason we need to Isolate anyone. The rooster lives there. He is a very sweet boy and has really had a rough life. Trapped by dogs, attacked by another dog. Illness and attacks from other Roosters. Honestly we are amazed he is still around. He walks with a limp, cannot get onto the roosts, just a beat up Rooster!!
    He has become our chick raiser and does a right fine job of it!

    Good luck with your chicks, I hope you really enjoy them!! Nothing is better than watching your flock grow naturally!!
     
  10. CarlitosRussito

    CarlitosRussito Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG]

    They came!!! My Russo is a daddy!!!
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2014

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