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Integrating broody and her 5 week chicks back to main flock?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by marlene, Sep 25, 2016.

  1. marlene

    marlene Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a broody that I moved to her own mini coop to hatch some chicks. The chicks are 5 weeks old now and mostly all feathered.
    I have been letting my main flock and the broody with the chicks free range together for over a week now, without a problem.
    Would it be OK now to put the broody and chicks back in the main coop with the rest of the flock?
     
  2. Folly's place

    Folly's place Overrun With Chickens

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    My broody hens and chicks are in a large dog crate in the main coop, and when the babies are five to ten days old, the dog crate door is left open. Mom will return to the crate at night for another week or two, and then decide to bed down in the coop. She wants the babies on a roost as soon as possible, and works to get them up there every night. Over a few more weeks, they all make it. She also makes it very clear that nobody messes with her little ones! Mary
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. carlf

    carlf Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, they should be fine.
    They could have been with the flock from the day after they hatched.

    Why did you separate the broody hen to begin with?
     
  4. marlene

    marlene Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I was worried about what the other hens would do to the chicks, and because I am not around for most of the day, I decided to play it safe and separate the broody.
    I read quite a few posts on here and it was a mix of opinions. Some were saying they separate for safety, others didn't.
    Decided to play safe lol.
     
  5. marlene

    marlene Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you for the responses.
    So how do I go about moving them back into the main coop?
    Should I just lock the mini coop and force them into having to go into the main coop?
    What is the best way for me to do this?
     
  6. carlf

    carlf Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hens have been hatching clutches within a flock since there has been chickens. They know what they are doing!
    I see no reason to remove a setting hen from a flock as long as she is protected from predators.
    Momma hens will fiercely defend her clutch and peeps from the rest of the flock IF she needs too. But in most cases, there is no need, the other hens "know" not to mess with momma hen or they will find out really quick.


    I would just let them keep doing what they are doing as long as he mini coop is secure at night. If not, just close it and make sure she goes into the main coop tonight.
     
  7. marlene

    marlene Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you for the advise. I have locked up the little coop and will see how they get on in the main coop.
     
  8. DrTacosMD

    DrTacosMD Out Of The Brooder

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    Would you still give this advice even if the hen isn't the dominant hen of the flock?
    I'm just wondering.
     
  9. carlf

    carlf Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes. My broody hen was the bottom bird and my dominant hen never even thought about messing with the peeps
     
  10. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    I have a broody hen at present with a single chick. In answer to a couple of questions, generally speaking, no matter the rank of a broody, no one likes to mess with a broody hen.

    I had the luxury of an unused coop section with its own exterior run, and it so happened that coop was where the broody chose to sit a nest where I then slipped a few fertilized eggs under her. It worked out beautifully when the one egg hatched and the broody and new chick were safe and secure from the flock which comprises all ages.

    When the chick was around two weeks old, I opened access from the broody's run to the rest of the run so all the flock could mingle and the broody could begin integrating her chick with the flock. No one messed with the chick. The chick is six weeks old now, and still no one messes with her except for very rare games of tag and peck by the very youngest pullets, usually provoked by the adventurous chick.

    But the broody, even though she was very high ranking, has had to engage in challenges from others as she re-enters the social order after being out of it for a couple of months. These are not altercations where she's protecting her chick but direct challenges to her alone. The challenges are brief, and no one gets hurt, but there's no doubt what they're about. So I will guess your broody may encounter such challenges to her rank as she re-enters the pecking order.
     

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