Mother hen question?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Saablo, May 19, 2019.

  1. Saablo

    Saablo Hatching

    Nov 6, 2018
    Hello, I have a mottled Java that hatched 7 mixed breed chicks 4 weeks ago. They live in a separate part of the coop and free range at their choice all day, and have done so since birth. My question is the mother hen wants to go back to the flock and even laid an egg today. Should I give the chicks a heat lamp? They feathered out fast, but I’m in Massachusetts and it has been cold at night like 40 degrees. Or should I allow them all into the flock, the chicks technically can wonder into the run and there hasn’t been any attacks? Thanks.
  2. losttexan

    losttexan Songster

    Jan 24, 2014
    Lubbock, TX
    For well-feathered chicks, 40 degrees wouldn't concern me. I think they would do better sleeping with the flock, anyway. Is mom completely ignoring them? That seems a little early for 4 weeks, but I don't have much experience with Javas.
  3. chickens really

    chickens really Crazy Call Duck Momma

    Why not let Momma out with her Chicks? She will protect them.
    Camellia and EggSighted4Life like this.
  4. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Free Ranging

    Hi there, welcome to BYC! :frow

    Next time, let them go back to the flock before mom is ready to ditch them. That way she supervises the integration and the chicks learn who to avoid quickly. Right now though, yes... I would allow them ALL back to the flock.

    Some of my hens return lay before kicking the babes completely. However my hens also hatch and raise their chicks with the flock. I did have one hen go to roost before the chicks followed her. They still had their box to huddle in... our daytime highs are rarely above 60 in the hottest season. I was concerned just like you are! I just checked in the middle of the night to see they weren't loud and mad. They were fine... but it was definitely nerve racking to me.

    Each time is a new experience even with the same hen. I would not likely provide a heat lamp... but do what makes YOU feel comfortable. I did pile extra bedding around them after it got dark. :)

  5. Saablo

    Saablo Hatching

    Nov 6, 2018
    Thanks for the replies. The chicks have always been able to walk into the chicken yard because they fit through the gate, and they seem to be ok around the rest of the flock. I’m gonna let mom back in tomorrow if she shows interest. I just have to rig the door so only the chicks can get to the starter feed. I was mostly concerned because of the amount of time(technically it hasn’t been 4 weeks till Wednesday). Also the access door to the run has a ramp and drops about 3.5 feet, but the little ones seem pretty agile. Another note this is the first brood for this hen.....and me. Thanks again.
    trumpeting_angel likes this.
  6. Molpet

    Molpet Crossing the Road

    I feed everyone starter or grower most of the year, because i usually have chicks... oystershell on the side for the hens.
  7. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Free Ranging

    The other birds will LOVE starter feed!

    I always have chicks and broody's, and molter's, and roosters... I feed a flock raiser or starter to all birds with oyster shell on the side for layers. I NEVER switch to layer. The 16% protein in "layer" feed is the bare minimum to sustain a light bodied layer in laying condition. While the juveniles may sample the OS they don't consume enough to actually create issues.

    22% was shown to give the best hatch rates... which to me says more nutrition in the eggs my family is consuming daily.

    I would let mom back even if she doesn't act all whack. ;)

    Biggest issue with the 3.5 foot ramp... is making sure the chicks know how to get up it and follow mom. I usually have to help the first week or two at roost time... in my coop that has a ramp like that. Had they been allowed back, they would probably have figured it out by now. But as you say they are pretty agile right now... you shouldn't have to worry about them getting hurt. :)

    Sounds like you are good to go! :fl :pop

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