NEED ADVICE REGARDING CHICKS - From You More Experienced Members :)

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by PamB, Jan 12, 2011.

  1. PamB

    PamB Songster

    Jul 20, 2010
    Dayville, CT
    Here is the situation: I had a silkie broody hatch 5 silkie babies out in the coop. It is going down to single digits the next couple of days. Soooo, we brought mom and the babies into the garage. No heatlamp, just mom and a little less frigid temps for the babies. Here are my questions:

    1. Now that they are inside, can I put them back out in the coop once we get back up to the 30's or should I just keep them in now until they are a month or two?

    2. I have two other babies (a few days older), that are in a separate brooder and have had a heat lamp. Can I sneak these babies under mom in the dark? Is this only a good idea if I keep them inside for a while? Will they adjust to the temperature if mom adopts them? Can a silkie hen keep 7 babies warm? (Sorry that was a lot of questions....haha....but they all seemed related)

    I VERY MUCH appreciate any advice on how I should handle this situation. Perhaps, I should have left them outside, but, like I said, the temps over the next couple of days are going to be awful!

  2. jerseygirl1

    jerseygirl1 Crowing

    Jun 20, 2009
    Orange County, NY
    1. I would keep them in til they are at least 8 weeks old, but that is just me. 30 degrees for baby chicks is just too cold.

    2. I can't say, since I have never let a broody hatch any
  3. PamB

    PamB Songster

    Jul 20, 2010
    Dayville, CT
    Quote:Well, they have been out in colder because they were born out there. [​IMG] That is what I'm not sure of, I don't know if bringing them in the garage for a couple days means they can't go back out. I just wanted them in the garage because the temps are going down to the single digits.
  4. Cloverleaf Farm

    Cloverleaf Farm Bearded Birds are Best

    Sep 16, 2008
    Levan, UT
    Personally, I would put ALL the chicks in the brooder, then you don't have to worry about it, also you won't have to worry about the other birds killing the chicks. But that's just me, I never let broodies keep their chicks... [​IMG]

  5. PamB

    PamB Songster

    Jul 20, 2010
    Dayville, CT
    They were separated out in the coop....although one chick escape (we have since reinforced out barrier) and the other chickens didn't go anywhere near it. I actually think they were scared. I want to leave them with mom, because she is doing such a wonderful job raising them so far. I'm just not sure whether bringing them in the garage w/out a heat lamp (it is probably only like 40-50 degrees in there) has made it so I cannot put them back out in the coop with mom when the temps come up out of the single digits. Also, if mom adopts my other two, will they be okay out there too??
  6. andalusn

    andalusn Songster

    Sep 6, 2009
    Ridgefield, WA
    I am no expert but I have had two hens stay broody all year. With each hatch I stepped further back and let mom and nature call the shots. One hen is very sneaky and sets her nest up in my hay stack. Goes to setting and I don't see her for almost the whole time. Then bam! Out she comes with peeps in tow. This last set hatched 16 peeps the Saturday before Thanksgiving and only lost one.

    During the first week she keeps them away from the other chickens then one day she moves them to the "chicken" side of the barn and shows them the feed. From then on she stays on that side but does not take them in the hen house. Very protective all the other hens and roosters give her space. Everyday taking her brood all over the farm to explore and learn how to be chickens. I have a wooden box that looks like a long nest box with a lid. I set it in a quiet spot in the aisle way close to water and feed, fill that with hay and she beds them down in there at night and they all fit under her for quite some time. Now they are almost 8 weeks old and they have found a new place to sleep. Up on the top edge of my wooden brooder box that is empty. I figured Okay, temps are low 20's at night and they are feathered. I turned on the heat lamp and let them find their sleeping spot. The barn is not enclosed, more like a loafing shed style. They have a roof to keep them dry but if they don't go into the hen house That sits just outside the roofline they are somewhat exposed to the elements.

    If your worried bring them in the garage. They have what appears to be a good mother hen and she sounds like she's doing a fine job raising them. Let her finish the job and just give them some support if needed.
  7. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    Being in the garage for a few days won't cause them to not tolerate the colder temps, they'll be fine to go back out with momma. I'm a big fan of letting momma raise her babies! If she accepts the other chicks, they should be okay outside, also, they can just spend more time snuggling with the hen.

    I'm so wanting a broody hen again! Hopefully one of my bantam cochins will come through for me this spring!

  8. PamB

    PamB Songster

    Jul 20, 2010
    Dayville, CT
    Thank you very much for the advice. I did move them into the garage and she has seemed to adopt the other two chicks. They all slept under her last night, but I had to put the two new ones under her because they haven't done it yet on their own. I think they are still trying to figure out what the heck is going on. Plus, they are about a week older, so they are more independent and don't seem to need to be under mom as much as the younger ones.

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