How to Allie MaMa to raise Chicks?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by LaurynRose, May 21, 2016.

  1. LaurynRose

    LaurynRose Out Of The Brooder

    May 30, 2015
    Okay so my hen is sitting on two eggs right now in the coop. When they hatch do I need to deprecate her from the rest of the flock? If so how do I do this?
  2. Jensownzoo

    Jensownzoo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 7, 2016
    Saint Louis, MO
    I'm going to assume you mean "separate" and you can correct me if I'm wrong. I think it depends on your flock whether or not you need to do this. Some people do it now and set up a broody coop or cordon off a section of the existing coop for her. Otherwise I guess you can herd mama and chicks to wherever you want them to be after hatch.
  3. Kjcramp

    Kjcramp Just Hatched

    Nov 17, 2015
    Two of my hens went broody about a week and a half apart. I let them have several eggs each, assuming all were fertilized by my leghorn roo. Bid Red, as I affectionately call my Red Ranger hen, only hatched 2 of about 6 eggs. She sat in a nesting box the whole time. As soon as they hatched, I moved mama and babies to a large cardboard box, still inside the coop. I provided food and water for them (the babies could not have reached water from the nesting box). When I came home on the second day, all three were on the ground in the run outside the coop, just as happy as could be!

    They quickly learned from mama how to go up the ramp at night. She nestled down in a different corner for a couple weeks, which was perfect timing for the white leghorn mama's chicks to start hatching. The Fourth of July brought us 7 more little fluff balls of various colors!

    I immediately put the first two that hatched under the leghorn into the abandoned (but cleaned) broody box, transferred the rest of the as yet unhatched eggs there as well. She sat on them just fine and the rest hatched by late evening. [​IMG]

    She has had her hands full, but has done a great job keeping her troupe together. All nine are healthy and doing fine. They love free-ranging with their mamas, even heading down to the creek for a cool drink! Our black lab is a great protector and follows them everywhere. I think he worries about them - go figure!
    I don't think given the success so far of letting mama do the raising, I would ever go back to raising chicks in a brooder, separate from the flock if I had the choice. They're pretty much already integrated, the mamas watch over them from the more aggressive hens, the roo seems protective of them - it's been a win-win for me!
    A couple of days ago I was watching the two mamas and their little ones around the feed hopper. The white leghorn has always been one of my meanest girls. She kept shooing Red's two babies away - either from the food or from her chicks, or for whatever reason. Red watched this happen about three times, then she'd had enough! Mind you, she's more like the size of a turkey, thus her name, Big Red. She charged over to the white hen, grabbed her by the back of her neck with her beak and shoved her face in the dirt! Wow.

    She's been much calmer and less aggressive toward them since.

    Milestone: last evening as I was watching to see if the youngest chicks would need help with the ramp thing, I noticed Big Red checking out the roosts for the first time since she went broody over a month ago. I thought, no! she can't go up there an leave her babies - what is she thinking?!? Sure enough, up she went! To my surprise, the oldest one flapped and scrambled right up the 2x2 roost support, then the littlest one followed - with a bit more trouble, but she made it - flapping her little practically featherless wings to aid her, then right on up to the highest branch! It was awesome to watch.

    The youngest ones and their mama have taken up residence in another nesting at night. I imagine it won't be long before they too will take to the rafters to roost!

    They are so entertaining. I think raising chickens is therapeutic!

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