Need advice on free range chicks that have hatched by front porch

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Bunnie, May 20, 2007.

  1. Bunnie

    Bunnie Hatching

    May 18, 2007
    I will try to make a long story short....Due to my mother's death last month, I am the caretaker of about 15 free ranging hens(and 4 roosters). I will probably be moving into my mom's place and the chickens are endearing themselves to me but I have a few problems. Two of the chickens managed to hide a stash of eggs and begin sitting on them before I could do anything about it. One just hatched out about 6 chicks under the front porch. It is not the most secure place, so I managed to put an old dog crate in front to allow her and chicks to come out with some degree of safety from predators but I would like to see about getting them back into the "coop" which is a portion of the garage. Do I try to catch them all and keep them crated inside to redirect them to come to the garage for home or what?

    The other problem hen is sitting on about 25 eggs......she popped off the nest yesterday and I was about to take the eggs, but when I could hear some of them cheeping inside I did not have the heart. Fortunately she is in a back shed and I have placed chicken wire around the area to help in corraling them in, but at least it is much more secure because this is an old goat pen with fencing. This hen was part of a small flock of 5 (4 hens and a rooster) who were not part of the "garage group" but truly roaming free all winter long.....I've dubbed them Rocky and the Fabulous Four because they survived the cold weather, coyotes, peregrine falcons, and even my mother's dogs ( A couple tryed to perch on shrubbery overhanging the dog pen). I would like to get the rogue group in with the others...any thoughts?
  2. pegbo

    pegbo Songster

    Feb 8, 2007
    Hi there! I would try to get mom and chicks in dog crate, then move them into the coop. I would keep them caged til chicks are older and so the other chickens can get used to them. The other hen sounds fine, I guess I'd just leave her where she is. She'll do the rest. Most mother hens are very protective of their young, just put some tight mesh fencing around the bottom of the pen,as the chicks can squeeze through some pretty small holes![​IMG]
  3. SunChick

    SunChick Songster

    Feb 23, 2007
    Bel Air, Maryland
    Wait until they have settled in for the night, then corral them and move them.
  4. bigzio

    bigzio Crowing

    Jan 20, 2007
    Bunnie, Welcome to BYC. Sounds like you have your hands full. It is amazing how a mother hen can manage her brood without the stress we feel.

    I think mom's are in control, however I agree with more security for everyone if you have help after dark to make the transition as swift and safe as possible.

    Good Luck, I hope you love the wonderful world of broody hens and the care they give their babys.

  5. Critter Crazy

    Critter Crazy Songster

    Apr 19, 2007
    Binghamton, NY
    dont forget to leave food and water available to the mum and chicks!
  6. Bunnie

    Bunnie Hatching

    May 18, 2007
    Thanks everyone for your replies. I got momma and the chicks in the garage today.

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