Integration question ... when to give up?


6 Years
Mar 3, 2016
west TN area
We were caught with our pants down and now have 5 healthy baby chicks. OK, the rooster was caught with HIS pants down! LOL!

I rigged a separate broody area and moved them into it, but the chicks can easily get out of the fenced area and into the main run with the main flock. There have been no problems at all; the 2 mother hens are handling integration.

They have spent a few nights in the main coop, too, although they sleep in the nesting boxes since they can't fly up to the roosts yet. The chicks are 2 weeks old as of tomorrow (Wednesday).

I'm also going to switch the entire flock over to chick starter and just offer ground eggshells free choice.

So, my question is simple, I think: When do I dismantle the broody area? Does it serve a useful purpose any more?

Sounds good ... but I can't "herd" the chicks into anything. The Mommas turn into raptors when I try to handle the chicks.
As long as they are fine within the main flock, and you are switching feed regimes to accommodate them (as you mentioned) then there's no reason to interfere with them being with the main flock. I've always let broody hens hatch and raise chicks in the main coop and never had any issues (although I know that other members have not had positive experiences).
Thanks all!

A few days later and all is well. I leave the fence open in the broody area and they come and go as they please. It's still their "safe harbor" when they want to chill during the heat of the day, but otherwise they're out scratching around with the Mommas.

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