Safe to let broody and chicks out to free range?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by lilmama, Jul 10, 2011.

  1. lilmama

    lilmama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hello:

    We are leaving town for a full day in a few days and I won't be around to keep an eye on my Mama hen and her week old chicks. I don't want to lock them in the coop all day with the other hens because I think the other hens will peck at them. I don't want to lock them in the coop WITHOUT the others as the others need to lay in their boxes at free will. They have been known to lay in the bushes, but I feel bad "making" them do this. I am tempted to let them all free range and just leave the coop door open, but I am nervous about that as well because, although it is a tall fenced yard and there are plenty of trees, it is not a covered run and the babies are sooo little.

    Because I'm at home most of the day, I've been very vigilant about locking the mama and babies in the coop for hours at a time when the other hens are done laying. I am always going out and checking on the situation and making sure everything is ok. It's actually been exhausting, but we weren't really set up for baby chicks. It would be a lot easier all the way around to just bring the chicks inside into a brooder. But they are so used to being outside now I think it would be quite mean to isolate them in a small place.

    My only other option is to lock the mama and babies in the duck coop all day and let the ducks free range- (which they do anyway.) It's just I know the mama hen will freak if evening comes and she's locked in there and can't bring the babies home to her coop....

    What would YOU do?
     
  2. they'reHISchickens

    they'reHISchickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    For a full day? I'd leave them free range and hold my breath.
    Our worst massacre occurred when we were home inside the house and we didn't hear a thing. I have taken a fatalistic view of things.
    We do lock everyone in every night though.
    It's a case of danged if you do and danged if you don't. Pay your money and take your pick. Life is like that, unfortunately.
     
  3. Mrs. Fluffy Puffy

    Mrs. Fluffy Puffy Fluffy Feather Farm

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    I think I would lock them up in the Duck Coop.
    One day of being in prison won't hurt them. [​IMG]

    ~ Aspen
     
  4. lilmama

    lilmama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    oh no! I got two posts telling me to do different things! This is not helping! [​IMG]
    I need a tie breaker. anyone? [​IMG]
     
  5. Beekissed

    Beekissed True BYC Addict

    Free range them....you'd be surprised just how well chickens take care of theirselves when we humans just stop interfering. Have faith and just enjoy!
     
  6. Barnmaradotte

    Barnmaradotte Chillin' With My Peeps

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    eugene
    free range
     
  7. lilmama

    lilmama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    yay! will free-range.
    Free range them....you'd be surprised just how well chickens take care of theirselves when we humans just stop interfering. Have faith and just enjoy!

    Thanks!​
     
  8. pgpoultry

    pgpoultry Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I agree with the above.

    My momma hen and her 9 chicks went everywhere when they were a few weeks old and there are still 9 at 14 weeks.
     
  9. elevan

    elevan Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

    I've been letting my broody and her chicks free range for the past week (they were 1 wk old when I started) all day. She lost one to a drowning incident [​IMG] But she takes very good care of them. The chickens all have 3 acres of fenced field to range in and a llama that plays guard for them (and the goats).

    She lets those chicks get so far away from her at times that I nearly have a heart attack...but she always knows where they are and calls them back when she decides they've gone too far [​IMG]

    So I say - free range too.
     

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