Safe to move Mama and chickies onto grass?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by PatS, May 15, 2010.

  1. PatS

    PatS Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 28, 2009
    Northern Califonia
    Our BO hatched out all of her eight eggs and Mama and babies have been doing well for two weeks. They have been living in a very small little pen in the sand covered covered chicken run, and for the last week or so we've been moving them into a covered 6 X 8 dog kennel on the grass once it is dry in the late morning.

    We have another hen going broody, and she seems determined. She has spent most of the time the last three days in a nest box, but does become disturbed when I go into the coop. She is much feistier than the first broody was, and bites HARD if I feel under her, but also got so upset yesterday she did jump off the nest for a few hours and ran around with the flock. I'm wondering if I should move her to the more secluded pen that had a doggie carrier in it that has been the first broody's home for the last five weeks. (There are no eggs under her yet, we're waiting to see if the broodiness "sticks.")

    This rearrangement would entail moving Mama and eight two week-old chicks full time into the kennel out on the lawn. My only concern is that in the morning the grass is very dewy until 10:30 or so. Won't the chicks get wet and become chilled?

    We've had some cold nights in the last two weeks, and I was shocked to see the chicks up and out from under Mama when the temps were in the low 40s, so maybe they are much tougher than I give them credit for. They only occasionally spend time under her now during daylight hours, with daytime temps ranging anywhere from the low 60s to the low 90s. (This is a far cry from when I brooded their aunts and uncles, and reduced the brooder temps an agonizingly slow 5 degrees a week.)

    So wet grass and chicks? What do you say?
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2010
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Hens have been raising chicks on wet grass and in cold weather for thousands of years. They are a lot tougher than you think. I'd move her and the chicks in a minute.

    Sound like the second broody is one that would really benefit from being isolated.

    8 out of 8 with a broody. Nicely done!!!
     
  3. PaulaJoAnne

    PaulaJoAnne Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 30, 2009
    Ours have been on grass in 40 degree rainy weather from day one!
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2010
  4. homesteadingcowgirl

    homesteadingcowgirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ditto. She'll be fine. [​IMG]
     
  5. MareeZoCool

    MareeZoCool Chillin' With My Peeps

    [​IMG] Hi Pat S. My hen hatched out her brood of 3 outside here in Ohio. once they were 8 days old, she was antsy & I opened the door to her pen, she hurried all 3 out onto the grass. It was such a lesson in chicken wisdom, watching my hen teach her brood how & where to scratch. The only mornings I keep them inside is when the grass is covered with a heavy frost. I leave the pen open once they're out most mornings, so she can take them in for naps and relaxation. Plus, the water is clean & ready inside the pen. The morning dew doesn't seem to affect the little ones, they're too busy chasing mom & hunting for bugs.[​IMG] Good luck, relax & watch mom do all the work.[​IMG]
     
  6. PatS

    PatS Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 28, 2009
    Northern Califonia
    Thank you, Everyone! It is a relief to know that I can leave it in Mama's hands (feet?). Our wanna-be Broody will appreciate the peace and quiet, too.
     
  7. NHchicks

    NHchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 13, 2010
    My RIR hatched 8 eggs the other day, and by day #2 they were having recess outside. My big dilemma now is whether or not to leave them out there alone with mama but without me for a while. I'm afraid of hawks or maybe even the other hens getting mean. But anyway, someone else posted a question of why, when we hatch our own eggs, do we obsess about keeping them under a heat lamp 24/7, but when they're hen-hatched, they play outside for hours in 60 degree weather. I don't know. But mine seem to be having a great time, even when they keep getting kicked by scratching mama.
     
  8. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Quote:I don't have the instincts of a broody hen to tell me what is safe or not. I cannot communicate with the chicks the way she can, listening to them to see how they are doing, telling them what to do, and enforcing discipline to get them to take care of themselves. I don't think I obsess nearly as much as many others, but I admit to taking great care to keep them in the safe ranges.
     

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