Is it OK to separate chicks from Mama

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by neener, Sep 15, 2008.

  1. neener

    neener Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 15, 2008
    Nova Scotia, Canada
    I was just given a hen with 6 two day old chicks. She is very protective (of course), and keeps herself and her chicks away from me at all times. I really want these chicks to be handleable, and used to me and especially my dogs, but they are already scared of me and the dogs because of mama's reaction. Is it cruel to take her chicks from her and hand raise them so that they are tame the way my other chickens are tame (I hand raised them and they have no fear of me or my dogs at all, they're like part of the family)? I don't want to traumatize any of them, but I also really want them to be able to be handled. What should I do?
  2. cluckychick

    cluckychick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 29, 2008
    South of KCMO
    I have one hen that I left the babies with till they were 4 weeks old and I must say I wish there had been a chance to handle them because momma was very protective and so we didn't get much interaction with them.

    I now have another batch that I did take momma away because she was having none of that raising babies thing. She was pecking them babies like crazy and gave one a wound on her bottom so she got put back in with the hens.

    We are working diligently with the now 5 week olds but it is tedious and the one rooster in the bunch is not very friendly at all [​IMG]

    I hope someone gives you the answer your looking for and good luck [​IMG]
  3. Marlinchaser

    Marlinchaser Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 18, 2007
    If you want to handle them seperate them now, Mom will(may depending on the mom) have a fit for a day or two, then she will be over it. She will not let you handle them till she is done raising them, usually 4+weeks, and by that time they will be too wild to be handled without a lot of work. Its easier to let the mom raise them, but they will never be like those raised from dayolds, if mom isnt there to let them know to try to get away from you, they wont know better, and will let you handle them with less fight.
  4. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    I think that the care & attention a Mama hen gives her chicks is far superior to anything else available. She not only keeps them safe & healthy, but she also teaches them skills that make them wiser as adult birds. Personally, I prefer smart wary adults than friendly but unwise chickens.

    I find some chickens have more friendly temperments than others. Some will remain wary no matter how much time and attention you give them. But many others can be won over by consistent kind treatment, gentle handling, and tasty handouts.

    I leave my Mama hens' chicks with them for as long as they'll tolerate them. Some Mamas want to go back with their flock after 5-7 weeks, others will stay with their chicks until 9-12 weeks.

    While the chicks are still with Mama, I will bring them food & treats and sit nearby while they enjoy them. If Mama knows that you = food then she'll teach her chicks the same thing.

    It's up to you to decide, there's a variety of opinions & methods to raising chicks with or without a Mama hen. But my viewpoint is that most Mamas, including Mama Nature, know best.

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