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I'm torn... leave baby out w/mama or not?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by serendipityfarm, Nov 29, 2010.

  1. serendipityfarm

    serendipityfarm Songster

    Mar 28, 2010
    Hi all!
    I have a just-hatched chick out with mama in the barn. She's in a nest box and I have a heat lamp hanging nearby which keeps the area adjacent to the box around 50-60 degrees or so. It's been below freezing at night and in the 40s during the day here. I also have a brooder w/7 chicks (shipped eggs) that hatched over the weekend. So, should I trust Mother Nature and leave the baby w/mama, or bring it in and put it in the brooder.
    Also, I have a second broody mama, also on one egg, in the coop without a heat lamp. What about that one??? Due to hatch there by the end of the week and it supposed to be even colder by then!
    Would the broodies get over it quickly once they realize the babies are gone if that's the route I should go? Or will they be heartbroken? I tried to break broody #1 several times this year & she's awfully determined (thus the mini hatch, I got tired of fighting with her).

    Anyway, any advice would be welcome!

    Last edited: Nov 29, 2010

  2. debilorrah

    debilorrah The Great Guru of Yap Premium Member

    Mama birds have been raising baby chicks without the aid of heat lamps for centuries. They will be fine.
  3. card5640

    card5640 Songster

    Mar 27, 2009
    Bangor area, Maine
    Hello I am here in Maine and it has been cold, I had 2 hatch on Thanksgiving. I have left them with their mom and place the food really close and the water in a small heated dog bowl. I am giving them extra nutrition with scrambled eggs and cottage cheese warm. I have a small area with a heat lamp at one end it is a green (holiday) flood light shining toward the back, it is getting up to 60 degrees at the food, the mom will actually pull the paper plate close to her breast and they peak out to eat while their body is under her the box is well insulated. Mid day it got about 45 today and they were running about in their 18x 30x18 area. I think I have a hen and a roo. This broody Black cooper Maran has 4-5 hatches this year I gave up counting. Good luck, she might even adopt the incubator birds, place them in at night.
  4. Southernbelle

    Southernbelle Gone Broody

    Mar 17, 2008
    I never provide a heat lamp - that's what the broody hen is for! I intentionally keep a broody flock just to hatch and raise chicks for me year round because my husband hates when I brood chicks in the house. I've got a hen sitting on eggs right now in an unheated barn. It's going to be well below freezing when her babies hatch and they'll all be fine. I've never lost a chick to the cold, even in the dead of winter and I've been using broodies for years. If she kept the eggs warm enough to hatch them, she'll keep the chicks plenty warm enough.
  5. Camelot Farms

    Camelot Farms Chickenista

  6. BarkerChickens

    BarkerChickens Microbrewing Chickenologist

    Nov 25, 2007
    High Desert, CA
    Mama will have no problem keeping her babies warm! [​IMG]
  7. CluckySam

    CluckySam In the Brooder

    Nov 10, 2009
    Melbourne, Australia
    Hi Terry,

    personally, I would leave the chick with mama, however I have not experienced the temps you have/are about to so I speak with absolutely no authority! I just know that my first time broody mama is doing a fantastic job with her chicks, including in the hot weather we are having, and I think it would break her heart if I took her chicks away. Good luck with whatever you choose to do!


  8. andalusn

    andalusn Songster

    Sep 6, 2009
    Ridgefield, WA
    Our temps have been all over the board. My sneaky broody brought 16 peeps out from the hay a week ago Saturday and three days later we went from just wet to 20's and freezing for most of last week. Momma hen keeps her brood in her snug wooden box at night and then brings them out before the sun rises to eat breakfast before the rest of the flock wakes up and then it gets crazy. She does a great job of keeping them out of harms way and before you know it they are snug under her wings and warm. Mother nature has done a great job instilling in hens instinct and know how.
  9. abhaya

    abhaya Songster

    Nov 5, 2010
    cookeville, tn
    mom kept the eggs at 99 or so. She will keep the chick warm too. My Mom and chicks are in the coop no additional heat.
  10. Judy

    Judy Crowing Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Note my sig line. This is about my 4th or 5th batch of chicks. This ain't the north, but I've seen babies out pecking and scratching in the 40's; they'd run under mama a few minutes, go back out again, repeat. Yesterday at 55 degrees all 5 were out from under mama, some asleep, not even touching her. My coop is not heated or insulated; actually, half of one wall is hardware cloth.

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