If mama is raising the babies, does she need to be closed off from the other chickens?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by JayJo, May 29, 2016.

  1. JayJo

    JayJo Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have a broody mama who has been sitting on some fertilized eggs for a week. Neither of us have done this before but she seems to know what she's doing, and I'm optimistic that she'll get some to hatch.

    I've set up a little section inside the coop with a dog crate and a little plastic bin with one of the sides cut out for them to sleep in. I'll be adding feeders and waterers soon. But I'm trying to figure out - do I need to have the dog crate closed, so the other chickens can't get in? Or can I just leave the door off, in which case mama can get to her usual nipple waterer, and I only need to install a chick-height nipple waterer?

    Last edited: May 29, 2016
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs I Wanna Be A Cowboy Premium Member

    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    I personally keep the mom and chicks separated for about two weeks. By then the chicks can keep up and get away from the other birds. I use a circle of wire put around them, and they are kept in the coop, so everyone can see them and get used to them. A crate will be too confining after a day or two.
    1 person likes this.
  3. Folly's place

    Folly's place True BYC Addict

    Sep 13, 2011
    southern Michigan
    I move the hen and her eggs very quietly, in darkness, with a tiny flashlight, into a large dog crate, with bedding Flock Raiser, and water, for the hen. When the chicks are all hatched, the crate gets cleaned out, and they go back for another week or so. Then they can mingle with the flock, and after the broody hen decides to not go back into the crate at night, it comes out of the coop. A separate space in the coop, with hardware cloth keeping her private, also works. If she's setting on eggs in the coop, there's constant disturbances and eggs get broken and dirty. Hatch rates and survival of chicks will be way less. Mary
    1 person likes this.

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