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Need some advice

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Sailgirl207, Jul 10, 2008.

  1. Sailgirl207

    Sailgirl207 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 23, 2008
    Maine
    First I just have to say I'm sooooo glad I found you all. What a lifesaver.

    I have a question now. As I'm going out everyday to check on my babies and the mamas (and the rest of the hens and one rooster too)...I'm noticing that the mama's are wanting out of the space I've created for them and the baby chicks. And I mean they want out badly!

    My question is .....when is it okay to let the chicks go out with the other hens/rooster? Are they still too young? My boss said they should be okay, but I'm nervous to let them out especially until the chicken wire is up on the garden side of the yard and the hawk netting is up over the area. The chicks are jumping and flying a little so I don't want them to get scooped up.

    My other thought was to put down the ramp that the chickens use and close the hen house door. That way the hens/rooster could go in and out and the chicks would still be inside.

    Anyway....how old should the chicks be before I let them out into general population?

    Thank you bunches in advance....again!
     
  2. Chirpy

    Chirpy Balderdash

    May 24, 2007
    Colorado
    Your mommas should be just fine taking care of their babies.. let em out but keep a close eye on them for a few days to make sure momma(s) are protecting them.

    I just had my first broody so my experience is limited (keep that in mind), I made a separate area in the run for the momma and her chick for the first two weeks (including a rabbit hutch for them to roost in at night) and then I integrated them back into the general flock. Everything went just great. When another hen got too close momma would attack and chase them off. That only lasted a couple of days and they've all gotten along fine since then.
     
  3. Sahara

    Sahara Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 22, 2008
    Keystone Heights, FL
    I would be hesitant until you can protect them from the hawks. My first hatch a couple of years ago, I just let the momma chicken take them everywhere and I think I ended up with one hen out of 7. The hawk got the rest of them.
     
  4. Chirpy

    Chirpy Balderdash

    May 24, 2007
    Colorado
    Sorry - I didn't address the hawk issue. I agree that could be a concern.

    When I let my momma and chick out to free range the first two weeks, I literally sat there (or worked in the very close proximity) to keep an eye on the chick to help protect her from hawks and from my barn cats. I did find that momma kept her chick within a few feet of the fenced in run for the first week or so of free ranging.

    I wouldn't lock up the chicks away from their mommas though. I would think that you would want the mommas to take care of the chicks and doing that might upset the mommas and/or stop them from wanting to take care of them later.

    I do believe you need to hustle and get that fencing done! [​IMG]
     
  5. Sailgirl207

    Sailgirl207 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 23, 2008
    Maine
    Thank you.....both of you.I appreciate it. I think I'll put that on my bosses to do list for this weekend.

    They are really itching to get out! Both mamas were out of their area this morning and couldn't get back into their babies - they were freaking out. I moved the fencing and let them back in - they were so relieved.

    I'll keep you updated.

    Thank you again!
     

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