Mama is trying to leave the nursery! What should I do? (PICS)

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by CluckySam, Nov 18, 2010.

  1. CluckySam

    CluckySam Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 10, 2009
    Melbourne, Australia
    Hi everyone,

    my Hamburg is a first time mama to 4 Australorp chicks, which are now almost 2 weeks old. We have netted off a part of the coop into a nursery section (see pic).

    In the last two days, Wonky (mama) has been trying to fly or push her way out of the nursery when the other hens are allowed out to free range in the yard. She is still happy to nest with the chicks to keep them warm, show them how to eat and drink etc etc, but she clearly wants to be allowed to go out of the nursery section. My concerns are:
    1) Wonky is at the bottom of the pecking order, and we have 3 big Barnevelders who eat everything in sight, and I am concerned that the chicks will be hurt/killed by the Barnevelders.
    2) If Wonky leaves the nursery, what do I do with the chicks? Will she go back to them? Should I just close the main door, and let her forage around the main coop, while the others are out (although I think she wants to go out in the yard)? I don't want the chicks in the yard yet, because of cats and lots of little gaps that they might get out through. Also, the coop is raised about 2 foot off the ground (previously a raised veggie bed) and there is no way the chicks would be able to get in there.
    3) Should I let Wonky out to forage and keep the chicks locked in the nursery?

    Sorry, these are my first babies and I am not sure what to do!!! [​IMG] Hoping you experienced pros can help!


  2. bakerjw

    bakerjw Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 14, 2010
    Johnson City, Tn
    That is one beautiful hen. I am jealous.

    I am in the same predicament as you. I have a hen that just hatched out some chicks last weekend. Right now she is in a brood box in the garage where it is nice and warm. I am thinking of moving her out to a nursery in the coop with the rest of her flock along with a heat lamp. That would give them the warmth that they still need. I don't know how the other hens would react to her chicks.

    I think that the chicks will want to be with their mother though. In the natural world they would stay with her.

    Hopefully someone with more chicken knowledge will give advice. For both of us.
  3. chicks4kids

    chicks4kids Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 22, 2009
    Northern Indiana
    It's sounds to me like she wants to get out (with the chicks) and get them learning how to forage. Teach them their yes's and no's in the chicken world.

    That's what all of my broodies do with their babies. I keep them in isolation for about a week, then they go out in population. The chicks stay well protected by their mama--she won't let anyone hurt her babies. I'm guessing even with her being on the bottom of the pecking order, she'll be a great mama and those babies will be just fine. She's just doing what comes naturally [​IMG]
  4. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

    Feb 24, 2009
    Strasburg Ohio
    Such a good question to ask! I'm learning here too.....Hopefully I'll have a broody hatch some chicks in the spring, now I'll know what to do!
  5. abhaya

    abhaya Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 5, 2010
    cookeville, tn
    I have a small run fir just such occasions. I also live on a small farm with lots of space I realize that may not be a possibility for a lot of people
  6. trailgurl

    trailgurl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 11, 2010
    the "e" planet
    I personally would let them go-momma will take care of them:) hens will even attack dogs and ppl while trying to protect their babies. I would watch them for a while and make sure everything goes well, and maybe lock them up at night, depending on if she tries to roost and not find a nest for she and her babies.
  7. trailgurl

    trailgurl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 11, 2010
    the "e" planet
    meant to type that chickens will "attack" dogs, and even ppl if she feels threatened
  8. CluckySam

    CluckySam Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 10, 2009
    Melbourne, Australia
    Thanks everyone - we might start by letting them in the big coop first, then maybe try an enclosed area in the yard. I just don't want my babies to get hurt!

    Mama is doing such an awesome job, teaching them to scratch, telling them what is good to eat, clucking when the mean nasty cat comes by... it's actually amazing to watch, considering she was raised in a brooder, so never had her mama to teach her this stuff! I guess the only downside is that the chicks will not be friendly pettable chickens, as none of our chickens will let us near them!
  9. Mrs. Fluffy Puffy

    Mrs. Fluffy Puffy Fluffy Feather Farm

    Jan 26, 2010
    Texas, Panhandle
    If you're worried about your other hens killing the chickens, just leave the hen locked up for awhile until the chicks are a few weeks old then you can let them free range!
  10. bock

    bock Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 10, 2008
    Northern CA
    I wouldn't take the risk. My BTW Japanese bantam's one chick got eaten by the other hens before it had even finished hatching. [​IMG] The next time, she stayed in an old chicken tractor, and raised 4 beautiful babies. [​IMG]

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