reintroducing mama and chick to the flock

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by naturemom, May 8, 2009.

  1. naturemom

    naturemom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 28, 2007
    northern IL
    I have a 4-week-old chick that hatched under a broody in my chicken tractor. After it hatched, I moved mom and baby to a doghouse. Eventually I will need to move them back to the chicken tractor, and I'm wondering when would be the best time to do it. The hens have been able to see the baby behind hardware cloth all along. Now they are all free-ranging together and doing fine. After I move them, I'll need to keep them locked in for a while so they'll know where to roost, and I'm concerned about possible aggression toward the chick when they are confined. Would it be better to do it in the next couple of weeks while the mom will still protect the chick, or wait until it's bigger even though then it wont have mom looking out for it anymore?
     
  2. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

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    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    About all you can do is try and and be close to watch.
     
  3. lovin'mychicks

    lovin'mychicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 6, 2009
    Central Alabama
    I have tried various ages and I do not like to add chicks to the "big" pen with the flock until they are around 8 weeks old (if you can house them that long.) We use a grow off pen method. At this age they are able to fly to the perches and get way if the older hens are feeling bossy.

    This is what I do when introducing new pullets with not momma hen. My friend brings hers back in earlier when they have a good protective momma with them.

    I lots a 6 week old pullet once because she could not find her way back to the chicken house in the evening. I think maybe she was too young to roam with my flock.

    This is just what works for us. With warmer weather here, we accelerate our pace on moving birds, but I have learned it is better to put safety first!

    Good Luck!!
     
  4. naturemom

    naturemom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 28, 2007
    northern IL
    Well, mama hen made the decision on her own. Yesterday evening she led her chick into the chicken tractor and they settled down in one of the nestboxes-the same one the chick hatched in. After 4 weeks of being housed elsewhere, I guess the chicken tractor is still home to her.
     

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