Integrating baby chicks and Mama back in with flock--When/how?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by kalj9, Sep 18, 2013.

  1. kalj9

    kalj9 Hatching

    Apr 21, 2012
    Hi Everyone--I apologize if this is a duplicate question--I did look through the threads, but nothing obvious popped up.

    I have 5 hens (2 wynadottes, 1 americauna, 2 p-barred rocks). One of the Wynadottes went broody
    and I lost my mind and got some fertilized eggs from a friend and let her go to it. We have three chicks
    that hatched (of 5 eggs) :) They are now almost three weeks old (will be on Sat). I currently have Mama
    and babes in the chicken coop (run and house) by them selves, and the four other hens are in a mobile
    coop pulled up along side, so every one can see each other.

    Since I only have three chicks, I really dont want any fatalities, so I am going slow. That said though, it's getting colder
    here (Idaho) and I'd like them all back together and able to get into the hen house for warmth at night as soon as possible.

    The hens have formerly all gotten along fine with each other.

    My question is, how long do I leave them in this stage before I try integrating? (I just did this the other day, chicks
    first day outside of previously locked hen house was two days ago) . How long do mamas stay protective of the babies? I dont wan to wait too long and mama be not protective anymore...

    Your thoughs are most appreciated.

  2. AmericanMom

    AmericanMom Songster

    Aug 10, 2013
    Im pretty new at this but here is what I experianced my first time around...
    My hen hatched out 5 chicks, for the first two days we had her in an old rabbit hutch that we had taken the legs off of and kept them all secure and isolated, after the two days we moved the hutch to an area beside the adults chicken run but seperated by a fence, that way momma could take the babies out and teach them to scratch and hunt for bugs but were viasable to the other chickens.. At four weeks we started allowing outtings with the flock but momma always took babies back to her hutch at around 5 1/2 weeks we noticed momma starting to lose intrest, wasnt with the babies as much during the day, we had read where they usually last between 6-8 weeks as protective momma's. we decided at that point to try and see how they would do in the main coop while momma was still being protective, we had absolutly no problems. the first two nights she just stayed on the floor with them but the third night she jumped up onto one of the nesting boxes and one by one they followed her. She decided at around 7weeks that she wasnt there momma anymore. They get pecked here and there, but thats normal hen behaviour teaching them there place.
    BTW, we lost three of the chicks, two were killed by the neighbors dog, but the two surviving chicks are doing great
  3. TheReadyBoys

    TheReadyBoys Chirping

    Jul 2, 2012
    P.E.I, Canada
    I would suggest putting the chicks and mother hen in a dog crate (or something similar) and put it in the coop . Here is a great thread to learn about the subject: You can find more informative threads in the 'Learning Center' at the top of the page. Good luck!

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