Is it ok to remove mum from her new born chicks

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by machinv, Oct 29, 2012.

  1. machinv

    machinv New Egg

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    Oct 29, 2012
    I have two broody hens and hatched chicks in different days. But I only have limited space to put in one hen with new born chicks. Also they peck each other's babies inside the enclosure. So I moved out one hen from that cage two days ago. Now the other hen always peck those chicks who are not hers. And the another outside mother hen always try to get inside. She might miss her babies very much. I felt sorry for her. She stays in the outside of broody enclosure and does not eat or drink. Will she be ok in a few days?

    Did anyone have this problem before?

    Need advice.
     
  2. Brookliner

    Brookliner Chillin' With My Peeps

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    How many chicks total? What breed are the mothers?
     
  3. machinv

    machinv New Egg

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    Oct 29, 2012
    The mother is RIR who has hatched 10 babies and she is inside of cage with a heater. Another one outside is the Light Susex who got five babies. Now the RIR only look after hers and peck others from Susex who is not in the cage. The susex is sitting outside for two days already.
     
  4. triplepurpose

    triplepurpose Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You should find a way to make space for both hens and both sets of chicks to be with their mothers. That would be the most humane and practical thing to do. The chicks need warmth and protection and instruction from the hen, and keeping them separated creates a lot of stress for everyone. As long as she can see the chicks, she is unlikely to "be ok" and both chicks and hen will continue to be traumatized (and the chicks may suffer from exposure without a heat source). I doubt the other hen will adopt the other chicks either, especially with the other mother there. I don't know what your specific situation looks like or what materials or resources are available to you, but I strongly recommend finding a way to allow both families to safely be together. Why are they caged at all? Do you have other chickens that you are worried might attack the chicks? I've only ever kept one mother hen with chicks at a time in my coop, but if I had two I would make sure they both had their own enclosures. Hopefully you can come up with something to make it work. Good luck.
     
  5. machinv

    machinv New Egg

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    Oct 29, 2012
    Thank you. The cage is an enclosure that insulated with sofa seats and sun roof. It is like a green house. Or call it brooder. The size of it is 1m by 2m to house 15 chicks and one RIR hen. I put in a eletric heater inside to keep them warm as well. The temrature is around 30 degrees inside. If I make two enclosures I will have to buy another heater. The susex only have 5 babies who are two weeks older than RIR's babies. I thought if the RIR peck Susex's babies, at least they will get away as I have put a fridge shelf in the middle so older babies could go under the shelf or around shelf, but RIR can not pass it. This will keep both batchs warm insdie this broody. The only problem is that Susex always sit ouitside of broody. Do you think she could get over it in next few days?
     
  6. triplepurpose

    triplepurpose Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Why can't you just put the sussex in with her chicks inside the cage if you've already put a barrier in there? Can't you just divide that cage into two equal sized areas (or maybe a slightly larger area for the RIR) and put each mother in one with her chicks? One square meter per group is not a lot of space and is less than ideal, but that still seems preferable to me over the current situation of having them separated. You'll need to keep plenty of litter in that cage to absorb the manure, etc, unless your cage has no floor, but by the time it gets really crowded in there you should be able to let everybody out of the cages altogether (once the chicks have all their feathers and can run fast enough to avoid being pecked at if they need to, something like 3 or 4 weeks old maybe). Based on your description of the set up that's what I would do... And again, to answer your question, I really do not think that the sussex hen will "get over it in a few days;" as long as she can see and be near the chicks I think she's going to continue to try to mother them. Chickens are visual and sensual creatures not logical ones. She doesn't care about your situation or your concerns. As far as she is concerned, they are still together and it's still her duty to mother them and won't give up, even as she is frustrated and stressed about the barrier put between them. I also think that you should reward her hard work and devotion to hatching and raising chicks for you, not essentially punish her for trying to do her job. No offense, just saying! I think we as the logical creatures have a duty to our animals to try and work with their natural instincts when possible, not against them. Good luck!
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2012
  7. machinv

    machinv New Egg

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    Oct 29, 2012
    My Girl Susex looks ok now. She is not sitting outside of that broodor and walk around backyard. She chicks even sleep under RIR at night. In the day time, RIR would peck them when they get close to her. I think they are all happy now.
     

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