Is it ok just to take the babies away from Mama?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by boxermom, May 12, 2010.

  1. boxermom

    boxermom Songster

    Feb 22, 2009
    My 2 BO's just hatched turkey poults. 5 are 12 days old and 5 are 1 day old. I'm going to sell most of them. If I take them away from "Mama" will she handle it ok or do I need to do it gradually?
  2. HorseFeatherz NV

    HorseFeatherz NV Eggink Chickens

    You can do it, but some mothers look and look for their babies - for days crying and carrying on. Can you leave each of them with a poult or two, until the hens decide they are done "mothering" - unless of cours they are horrible mothers?
  3. Bring

    Bring Songster

    Jul 16, 2009
    New Mexico
    My silkie is still mothering her babies. They are 9 wkd old already.
  4. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    As horsefeathers already pointed out, some mother hens will grieve for their lost youngin's.
    Mother hens teach their babies alot about living and surviving in their world.
  5. Camelot Farms

    Camelot Farms Chickenista

    I have ones that freak out and others that actually look happy to be 'off duty'.
    My silkie never even called out to them. She was so glad to be back with her flock of other adult birds.
  6. rcentner

    rcentner Songster

    Sep 6, 2009
    Le Roy, NY
    I just had my 1st experience with that: When the chicks were 5 wks old I wanted to separate the mother, so I took her out of her pen and placed her in the other pen. It did not go well, but it was the middle of the day. Mama carried on and so did the chicks, so I put them back together.

    at 6 wks old (chicks) they were roosting next to her and not under mama. Mama looked like she couldn't wait to be with the rooster again and seemed to be wanting to hang out with the adults. So this time, I waited until after they roosted for the night, picked her up and moved her. All was well the next morning. The chicks didn't run around looking for her and they all seemed happy.

    was it the age that made a difference? or the night time move? I just didn't want to supply heat for the chicks and I wanted to wait for it to warm up (then it gets cold the week I separate them).

    just thought I would share my recent experience
  7. boxermom

    boxermom Songster

    Feb 22, 2009
    I'm having such a dilemma. I've sold my 14 day old poults. They go to their new home tomorrow. Should I take her out tonight to give them all some time to adjust being without her, but still in their familiar surroundings? If they cry, she'll hear them and know they are still here. [​IMG] I feel terrible! [​IMG]
  8. Camelot Farms

    Camelot Farms Chickenista

    I know I sound like a heartless person. I'm really not.

    When they 'cry' it is out of instinct, not out of emotion. I truly do not believe that they have broken hearts when we remove them from their young.
    I would wait until tomorrow and just do it all at once. They will adjust quickly to their new home without mama. Do all of the moving all at once.

  9. boxermom

    boxermom Songster

    Feb 22, 2009
    Thanks. That makes me feel a little better. [​IMG]
  10. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    I'd take them out tonight, well after dark. Keep the poults far away from the hen so they cannot hear each other call. Make the hen an extra-tasty special treat for breakfast to help erase her memory. Make her some warm mash with corn, and/or give her a head of cabbage or an ear of corn so she'll keep busy throughout the day. Sometimes it happens that a hen's chicks all get killed by a predator one night and they learn to readjust right away. It's not like they're lactating mammals. It may take her a bit of time to recalibrate her system to begin laying again, but she should get back to her regularly scheduled programming soon.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: