Leaving a hen and her chicks in the same pen as others hens

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by diesel2133, Mar 2, 2013.

  1. diesel2133

    diesel2133 Hatching

    Mar 2, 2013
    I have a hen sitting fifteen eggs, can I leave the hen and her chicks in the same pen with the other hens and a rooster. They have just began to hatch and its about 24 degrees do I need to gather the eggs and chicks and move them inside?

  2. Volkova

    Volkova Chirping

    Jul 25, 2012
    Dudley, UK
    Hi there!

    I would not recommend you put the broody hen with the others. First of all, roosters can distract the hen quite easily by bothering and jumping in the nest box too, so that may be an issue and break the eggs. Secondly, roosters could kill the chicks, but they tend to be more docile compared to the hens, so he may protect her while she broods.

    Unfortunately, the other hens are the biggest problem. Once chicks are born, they get very aggressive, almost jealous and may attack both the tired hen and her chicks, a rooster is handy in this situation but in the 'crossfire' the chicks may get trampled on.

    It's a difficult situation moving the hen and chicks while they are hatching, what I suggest you do is isolate them in the pen with the hens away and wait until the chicks have hatched, then you can either move the hen and keep the chicks yourself or house them both together so she can rest and look after them. Moving eggs while they are hatching is dangerous for the chick, and the hen may flap about if you move her and crush the tired chicks. So, it's best to wait and move when they are all ready.
  3. diesel2133

    diesel2133 Hatching

    Mar 2, 2013
    Thank you for the help. I have moved the other hens and rooster to another coop. The hen and her chicks are doing good.thanks again
  4. TallChickMagnet

    TallChickMagnet Songster

    Apr 30, 2012
    Jurupa Valley, CA
    Bumping in order to follow...

  5. fishermans wife

    fishermans wife Songster

    Sep 2, 2009
    Ventura County
    I have always kept everyone together from beginning to end. Mamma hen protects her babies so fiercely that everyone leaves her and her babies alone. She will integrate the babies as they grow. In fact I have another hen who always feels like she needs to adopt them as well, and ends up being a second mother...it's hilarious as she climbs in with them at night. And she does everything their real mother does! This has been my experience, but every flock is different, and need a watchful eye to make sure intervention is not necessary. I also have not hatched in that cold of weather, so don't have experience with that.

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