Raising chicks in the coop

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by kathie grey, Oct 13, 2013.

  1. kathie grey

    kathie grey In the Brooder

    Oct 13, 2013
    We have 3 newly hatched chicks. My hen has been taking care of them in the coop. They are just 24 hours old. I wanted to keep them with the hen and the flock. My questions,,,it is October in New England and the temp gets down to 35 - 40 degrees at night. How can I help keep the babies warm? I put a heat lamp in the coop the first night...but I can see that is not good for the other hens and the rooster. It is only heating the nesting box to about 65 degrees anyway...not warm enough for the new babies. Is it possible or even a good idea to try to keep the babies with the flock? Should I just take the babies into the house and raise them away from the hen and the flock? Should I just use the heat lamp during the day and have the hen do all the warming for the babies at night...so the coop is dark at night? What other methods are there to get the chicks some heat in their little nursery box (it is a double wide nesting box)? Thanks!
  2. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    The momma hen will keep them warm and safe.

    You can mesh off the nest and some floor space for the momma and babies to keep them safe if the rest of the flock seems to be after them and the momma can't protect them.
  3. All Henned Up

    All Henned Up Muffs or Tufts

    You may want to make the box a little smaller and avoid any drafts, that will help momma stay warm, in turn she will keep them warm under her wings. My broody hen can raise chicks in the dead of winter, but you don't see her out of the nest very much. As far as to the light, you should use a red heat bulb. The red bulbs won't keep them awake or bother the others. Momma should be able to keep them safe from the pen mates.
  4. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Keep chicks from getting under foot of adults. Also make so they can get their starter feed in a location that cannot be reached by adults. I would reserve use of heat lamp to area around chick feeder and waterer.

    And Welcome!
  5. Folly's place

    Folly's place Free Ranging

    Sep 13, 2011
    southern Michigan
    I keep my broody hen with her chicks in a big dog crate in the coop for about a week. The chicks are then a little bigger and a lot stronger, eating and drinking well, and nice and warm with their mom. No heat lamp needed; she'll do fine with them. Let the family out for a short time at first, when the other birds are outside. Things should go just fine, as long a it's not crowded. Make sure thet little chicks can't get through the cage door openings; without mom, the adults will probably kill them (bitter experience here). Mary
  6. aussieposse

    aussieposse In the Brooder

    Oct 25, 2013
    Lamoille, Nevada
    Two of my banties went broody late in the season as well and I finally caved and let them hatch a few. This is our first experience with hatching chicks with an established flock. Your chicks are currently in with the rest of your flock? Is your mama doing well keeping safe? I have my two mothers separated from each other but within the main coop. I don't know much about integrating the chicks when they're old enough but it seems that even with our rapidly dropping temps (getting down to the 20s now some nights and our oldest chicks are just 2 weeks old) their little mamas & the heat lamps are keeping them warm enough.
  7. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    I have some late hatches coming as well. Biggest concern I have in addition to keeping chicks away from other adults is controlling exposure to wet ground. These guys will likely be setup with a dog house to rear chicks but two hens may have social problems under such conditions. If combined broods turn out small enough then broods will be left to hen with the younger chicks. This is doable with American Dominiques that seem to have little trouble adopting offspring of other hens.

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