Letting chicks out with mother hen

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by eltucan, Oct 7, 2016.

  1. eltucan

    eltucan New Egg

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    Oct 7, 2016
    My buff orpington has raised 4 lovely gold laced orpington bantams. They have been in a run next to the main hen house all the time and the chicks are now 10 weeks and mum is still with them.
    At what age can should I let them out with the big girls who free range the whole of the woods and beach?
    They have seen them through the fence all their lives, but even though mum is larger then the rest of the flock she was always bottom of the pecking order and I am worried she won't be able fend of attacks from the 3 other hens when I let them out.
    advice please.
     
  2. Dmontgomery

    Dmontgomery Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

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    Longville, La
    You might be surprised how ferocious a mother hen can be when protecting her babies. Even the lowest in the pecking order can fend off hostiles. At 10 weeks old they should be plenty big enough to keep out of trouble on their own though. She probably won't let them wander far from coop for a couple days until she is confident they can handle it. I've never had a hen that stayed with her chicks that long. Mine have always weaned them by then.
     
  3. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Holts Summit, Missouri
    There will likely be fights when she gets out. If she whens she will be able to displace others to her chicks can go where they want. If she looses, she will be pushed away from any contested spots, I have hens with chicks isolated from flock for most or the growing season and some are periodically released. You can expect a flurry of fighting but no real troubles. At 10 weeks the juveniles can also be pushed about without being harmed. Getting roost will be something to watch.
     

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