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new chicks

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by junebuggh, Jun 9, 2007.

  1. junebuggh

    junebuggh New Egg

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    Jun 8, 2007
    I just found my hen that has been missing for a few weeks.....she now has 6-7 "peeps" with her. I am assuming that they were just born. My question is this. We have a chicken coop but the hen escaped to have her eggs. I live in Georgia so it is really heating up here now. What should I do with the chicks and the hen? I definately need to confine the chicks for safety purposes. Could I make a small little pen just for these ?? in a small area in my yard that would be very secure for them? Do I leave the hen in with them? or is she ready to rejoin the coop??? I have no idea. Also another hen is sitting on eggs in my liriope as we speak. She has only been sitting on them for about 5 days now. I was thinking that after the new batch hatched I could add them in with these chicks. Again what do I do about the hens? and am I going to have to feed them or will they get that on their own or is that something the hen helps with? I guess you can tell I am a novice "chickener" so I need all the help I can get. I am VERY EXCITED about these new arrivals. they are TOO cute.
    Thanks
     
  2. annrich

    annrich Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 27, 2007
    Western NY
    HI never raised chicks. I always get pullets. But i wanted to comment about your hen running away to have kids. Thats cute.
    sry can't help with the chick ???

    good luck
     
  3. Motherhenandflock

    Motherhenandflock Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 17, 2007
    Southeast Idaho
    She will put up a fuss if you try to separate them. I'd let her and the babies back in the coop where she can get food and water. She will take care of her babies. She'll teach them what they need to know.
    Are you able to post some pics? We would love to see your new little family![​IMG]
     
  4. junebuggh

    junebuggh New Egg

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    Jun 8, 2007
    If I put the hen and 6 one day old chicks back into the coop with the other 2 hens and rooster will the older chickens pick on these baby chicks? I can't have that. plus It looks like I will be having more babies in 2 weeks. I will try to get some pictures...they are tooooo cute. I have never been this excited about chickens ever.
    pretty neat I'm a grandmother...yea
     
  5. 4H kids and mom

    4H kids and mom Cooped Up

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    Mar 10, 2007
    Southern Wisconsin
    I can help some. Wether or not you leave them with the broody hen depends really on how she is and what you want from the chicks.

    Is she a friendly hen? Or does she run away from you? If she's a friendly hen and will bring the chicks to see you, I'd let her raise them. Nothin is cuter than watching chicks with their mama, IMO. I WOULD make them a little pen for safety for now though. If the hen is NOT friendly and runs from you, the chicks will learn this behavior also, and you will have scared chicks that dont want to be handled. In this case, I would catch them and brood them without the help of the hen. She would be fine to go back in the coop with the others, and hens will "forget" their chicks after a few days. If you raise them yourself, and handle them often, you will be more likely to end up with friendly chicks.

    When the other ones hatch, you can put them together and raise them all if YOU are raising them, but I wouldn't put other babies in with the hen and her chicks, as she may see them as "invaders" and hurt (or kill) them. Also, size difference is something to take into consideration, as these chicks are already born, and the 'egg' chicks are only on Day 5 or so. So....I'd guess that the current 'live' chicks will be somewhere around 2- 2.5 weeks old (you have roughly 17 days until the eggs hatch if they're on day 5) by the time the new ones hatch. Thats good in that a 2 week old chick is still pretty calm, and shouldnt pick TOO much on the smaller, younger ones. But again, this is only if YOU are brooding them yourself, not with the hen involved. I just wouldn't try it. There ARE tricks to getting it to work, like slipping the new chicks into the brooder pen at night one or two at a time so she (the hen) doesnt really notice them (since hens cant count) but I've not tried it myself, so I cant say it will work. I HAVE mixed together day old chicks with older 2-3 week old chicks when I was brooding them and had great results.

    I wouldn't just let her into the coop with the babies, as you have no idea how the rest of the flock will treat the "rodent snack sized" new comers, who at this size and age are deffensless. I would corner off a section of the coop and make a little pen with chicken wire so the flock can see them and get to "know" them before allowing them access to each other. And you will need to get food and water to them all.

    When I moved my newest chicks out to the coop, I first put them in the attached pen so they could meet. I kept them in that pen until they were 3 and 4 weeks old (I had a week difference in ages) and then I cut a hole in the pen small enough that the little chicks could fit through, but too small for the bigger chickens. This worked great because if the bigger chickens got to rough for the chicks they could run back into the pen for safety. After another week or two of that I finally closed off the hole and they have been living in the coop with the big chickens since then and I've had no problems. They now get to free range with the big birds, and my bigger chickens even watch out for them.

    As far as the hen putting up a fuss, yes she might if you grab all the chicks at once and run with them. But remember that chickens cant count, so if you followed her around and grabbed one here and there, allowing time between, she may not even notice. Leave her with one or two for a day and then take those too, and you'll have much less fussing. Plus, she'll be eager to get back into her "flock" in the coop.
     
  6. junebuggh

    junebuggh New Egg

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    Jun 8, 2007
    the little pen inside of my coop sounds like a great idea. So let me get this straight. I will build a small pen with no "doors" first and put the mama and the chicks in it and put this pen inside of my big coop? and in a couple of weeks make a small hole that the chicks can get in and out of? so this entire time the mama hen is inside the small pen with the chicks? and I don't let her out until when??? thanks for your help
     
  7. 4H kids and mom

    4H kids and mom Cooped Up

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    Mar 10, 2007
    Southern Wisconsin
    If you are going to pen Mama and the chicks inside the coop make sure they have access to feed and water. Mama can stay in with the little chicks until you let them out for good and take the pen away. When you cut the little door, the chicks can go explore the coop and give mama a break, but they'll come back to snuggle with her at night.

    OR....you can pen the chicks alone and let Mama just be in the coop with everyone. They'll still be able to see her so she wont fuss much, and they'll be safe from anyone else that might get frisky, and Mama gets some hen time and can get back to laying again a little sooner. Thats up to you how you want to do that. You can brood the chicks right in the coop if you want, BUT depending on your weather it might still be too chilly at night for them, so having mama in with them is a good idea.

    Once the chicks get some feathers, or it is around 80 degrees steadily at night (whichever happens first) you can let Mama out, and cut the small hole for the chicks. That way, they can explore the coop with 'Mom' all day but still have a place to run to if they need to get away. They usually have enough feathers (if its warm out) to be on their own (no heat source needed) by around 3-4 weeks (depending on the breed...banties are real small, so they'd be a little longer).

    My youngest chicks didnt have a Mama (they were from a hatchery) so I did the pen and the hole cut out and it worked great. There will be a few squabbles between them all while they work out who is where in the social structure of things, but it only seemed to last about a week at most, then everything was/is fine. Then I patched up the hole so the pen could be used again for other chicks or whatnot. Having them in the coop where your other birds can see them and hear them but not 'get at' them is the best and easiest way to mix a flock in my opinion and experience. I highly recommend it.
     

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