Need advise on new born chicks and mom

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by bevis, Feb 21, 2015.

  1. bevis

    bevis Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 9, 2014
    We have a Buff that insists on going broody about every 90 days.
    She is currently sitting on 8 black copper maran eggs that we got from a friend.
    We are not allowed to have a rooster so we indulge mom by getting her eggs.

    We have our nest boxes elevated about 2 feet above the floor in the coop.
    Mom is in one of those nest boxes sitting on her eggs.

    Is there any way to let her hatch her eggs and leave her in the henhouse somewhere
    without worrying about her chicks being attacked by the other hens when mom leaves the
    chicks to eat and or dirt bathe ?

    As you can see from the pix, i don't have a lot of room.
    The hen house is 8 x 10 and i don't see a lot of room to do anything.

    If i leave mom in the nest with the babies, I'm sure the babies will fall out and onto the floor
    when they get moving around. Not to mention the mess that they would make in the nest box.

    I have 24" under the poop board to put a big pet carrier.

    If i put a big pet carrier under the poop board and leave the door open so mom can get out to eat and poop,
    will the other hens in the flock attack the babies ?

    Or do they need completely need separate housing ?

    Any advise or opinions are appreciated.

    As you can see from the pics, my options are limited but maybe you see a way that i don't.
    Under the poop board, it goes back 36" before it hits the outside wall.
    So under the poop board i have 24" high by 36" deep.

    Thanks


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  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Mama will not leave the chicks while she goes out to eat and dust bathe. Once they hatch the broody and her chicks are inseparable. The chicks will go everywhere she goes. Mama makes sure of that.

    I’ve seen hens get chicks down from a 10’ high hay loft. Mama says jump and they do, then bounce up and run to her. They are not going to injure themselves by falling out of that nest so that is not an issue.

    That nest looks quite roomy. Good. The first chicks that hatch like to climb up on top of Mama while she is hatching the later ones. If the nest is small, when they fall off they may miss the nest and fall to the floor. It looks like you do not have that problem. I’d still raise the lip on that nest a couple of inches to help keep the chicks from falling out. Even without doing that it will probably not be an issue but better safe than sorry.

    When the hen brings the chicks off the nest, she will take good care of them. You need food and water where the chicks can get to it but that is about all you need to do. Most of my broody hens keep the chicks in the coop a day or two then start taking them outside every day for practically all day. At night they normally take them to a corner of the coop to sleep. You can try putting that carrier under the poop board. She might use it or she might not.

    You are dealing with living animals so no one can give you any guarantees, but my other hens hardly ever threaten the chicks. It can happen but it is pretty rare. When it does happen Mama quite vigorously whips butt. Some people on this forum say they have lost chicks to other adult flock members and I believe them. Each flock has its own dynamics, we each have our unique conditions and experiences. But I have never lost a chick to another adult flock member at all and my broody hens raise their chicks with the flock. Odds are you will be amazed at how well Mama does.
     
  3. bevis

    bevis Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I should have also mentioned that ALL the outside run is covered with 1/2" hardware cloth.
    So my girls are not allowed to free range. Here in Florida, we have soon many predators
    that free ranging is a dangerous game. Does that have any impact on your post response ?
     
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Not really. The more room you have the better, but there is no magic number in that regard. Most broodies can manage quite well even in fairly tight spaces.

    The one question I have is do you have enough room for these chicks when they are grown? Some of them will be cockerels so you have to deal with that. The more room the better for many different reasons. The tighter the space the more likely you are to have problems, either with the broody and chicks, during integration, or just in general flock dynamics. If you have enough total room for the total number of chickens when they grow up, you should be fine. If you don’t have enough room, then you are more likely to have problems anyway, now or later.
     
  5. bevis

    bevis Chillin' With My Peeps

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    we are in the process of increasing the size of the coop and the outside run to about double its current size
     

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