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Newbie: With Mum or without?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by avroncotton, Mar 19, 2007.

  1. avroncotton

    avroncotton Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 19, 2007
    Victoria Australia
    I have two hens that have been incubating ten fertilizied eggs. Three have now hatched and the mothers are being very protective. There are four other hens in the roost/run. Question is should I leave them alone or should I take them and do as most others on here i.e. separate small box , heat lamp etc.

    Thanks

    Tony

    Australia
     
  2. robin416

    robin416 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 6, 2007
    Tony, you have more than one thing going on. Two birds sitting, some peeps hatched and other birds in the coop. Do they all have free access to each other? If they do you could run into a problem with hens fighting over the peeps, hens trying to protect their peeps from the others. Hens laying eggs in the nest the Moms are sitting on. That last is a real PITA if you don't want to lose the partially incubated eggs because then you have to bring them in to the incubator to finish.

    I let my mothers raise their chicks. But they nest seperately and keep their chicks for about a week inside that seperate area. Once Mom wants to bring them out then I let them come out. When the chicks are about two weeks old I let all the Moms and chicks stay in the same pen, no competition for chicks, no having to protect from other birds.
     
  3. avroncotton

    avroncotton Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 19, 2007
    Victoria Australia
    Update:

    I cleared an area for mums and chicks, but it was an area that had some dead grass in as soon as the mums got on this they both started to scratch around and the chicks were getting kicked around quite violently. So they are next to me now in the study nice and warm with the heater on. They seem quite happy, although one of the three is quite a bully.

    It's so funny when they fall asleep!

    Thanks for the advice

    Tony
     
  4. robin416

    robin416 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 6, 2007
    Are you talking about the splat? That's one thing you don't get to see when they're with Mom. I have a picture of splatted chicks in a circle around the outside of their light.

    Yep, when Mom gets to digging some of the less observant chicks can get knocked over. I haven't lost one yet to this activity and they learn pretty quick to get the heck out of the way when Mom gets started.
     
  5. setting_silkie

    setting_silkie Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 11, 2007
    Massachusetts
    I also have a hen in the coop sitting on five eggs. They're due to hatch in about a week. It's still pretty cold here in New England and I wasn't sure if I should bring the new chicks in, or just let the mom keep them. Any chance they could get too cold? We still have snow on the ground!
     
  6. robin416

    robin416 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 6, 2007
    I put a light out in my coop when the chicks began to hatch. I didn't use one of the heat lamp types but a 125 red spot, close to the floor. If Mom was up eating or drinking the chicks would congregate under the light and take breaks. I had their water and feed close to the light so that they didn't have to wander out into the cold to get what they needed. Worked out great, they're now out with the general population zooming around.
     
  7. setting_silkie

    setting_silkie Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 11, 2007
    Massachusetts
    Thanks Robin416. I'm not sure I know what a red spot is. Is that a special kind of light? I have a light with the big round housing...I could use that. Should I just put a regular bulb in it and set it on top of the crate that she's in now for when the chicks hatch?
     
  8. jimnjay

    jimnjay Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 11, 2007
    Bryant Alabama
    I leave the chicks with the mom whenever possible, she teaches the so much. Its fun to have them inside too but I think mama's usually do a better job raising their babies and they are so much fun to watch. Unless there is a real problem I would leave the mom to care for her babies. I use a light when it is really cold as Robin does except I just use a regular 100 watt bulb. I have not found the 24 hours of light for the short time bothers the birds. The red light is good because it does not mimic daylight and the birds get normal day and night.
     
  9. setting_silkie

    setting_silkie Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 11, 2007
    Massachusetts
    I have the mother hen and her eggs (soon to be chicks!) in a small box pen...about 4x3x2 made of 2x4s and chicken wire. Should I keep the mom in there with her new chicks? If so, how long should she stay in that closed pen? When should I give them access to the outside? Thanks so much for your help. I have so many questions since this is the first time I've hatched at home. Just want to make sure I'm doing it right and that all the babes are happy. Thanks again!
     
  10. robin416

    robin416 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 6, 2007
    In the lighting aisle, you'll see where there a spot light bulbs for sale. They come in several colors, I chose the red to keep peace in the coop and not to bother the other birds. It also allows me enough light to wander around in the coop if I need to.

    As to the question on when to let them out, its up to the Mom. I have one that will not bring her chicks out until they are two weeks old on the dot. I have another who wants to bring hers out right now, the moment they're hatched. So, if the weather is decent and I can trust Mom to know when its time to go in I turn mine out when they want.

    I've had a Mom with two week peeps outside in the 40's without ill effect. But this Mom is exceptional when it comes to the care of her peeps. Total isolation for the two weeks, one week of wandering in the coop and then an outside foray.
     

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