Need to take 1 wk old chicks away from Mama...advice please.

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by lilmama, Jul 9, 2011.

  1. lilmama

    lilmama Chillin' With My Peeps

    132
    0
    109
    May 2, 2010
    Hello:

    We have 6 baby chicks that have been hanging with mama since they hatched. Circumstances have led us to need to separate the chicks from the mom and place them in an incubator. I KNOW it is better to leave them with the mom. However, it is not an option for us at this time due to the other hens picking on the chicks and the Mama hen being highly resistant (freaking out) when put in another location with her chicks that is not her normal run. She is an Anacona hen and has a nervous disposition and does not take well to change. We have tried to manage the situation for a week a number of different ways and we are exhausted. I am not looking for more options on how to keep the mama and chicks together. I need advice on removing the chicks.

    What can I do to "soften the blow" to the Mama? Take the chicks at night? Offer her treats when she wakes? Has anyone out there had to do the same and what was your experience?

    Thanks.
     
  2. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Overrun With Chickens

    9,279
    727
    321
    Apr 11, 2011
    Tn
    There will be no way to "soften the blow". Just take them and put them in your brooder. How old are they? Where I am (VA), temps have been 90 and higher. If your temps are the same- they shouldn't need a light during the day. Maybe you could brood them in a sectioned off part of your coop? That way your broody can still see them, but the other chickens can't get to them. Good luck!
     
  3. lilmama

    lilmama Chillin' With My Peeps

    132
    0
    109
    May 2, 2010
    Thanks. I'm all talk I guess because every time I go out there to take them away I just can't do it. [​IMG]
    I did let them out with the other hens today for a few minutes and the hens actually ignored the chicks. But then my ducks snapped at them....
     
  4. Gingerlilypad

    Gingerlilypad Out Of The Brooder

    77
    6
    31
    Jun 20, 2011
    Central Mississippi
    If you really think you need to take the biddies from their Mama do it at night. It is easier to catch them, since chickens don't move much at night. As a suggestion, rather than taking the biddies away, consider putting Mama and babies in a cage inside the regular run. That way the hen is less likely to get upset because she will still be in her familiar place, and the other chickens can't pick on the biddies. Just be sure that you keep food and water in the cage.

    I have a cage inside my pen, and keep a gallon waterer and long chick feeder available. Right now in the cage I have a bantam hen and her 8 four week old biddies. Mama had been free ranging and kept her babies hid for three weeks. Finally caught them last night. Being in the cage will reintroduce Mama to the flock and give me a chance to tame the babies a little bit. One I turn them loose in the pen, the cage will stay to be ready for the next time I need it.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by