Separating baby chicks

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Kayanne, Sep 2, 2016.

  1. Kayanne

    Kayanne Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 6, 2016
    Wanting to give away 2 week old chicks and wonder what that will do to mama emotionally? I have too many babies coming! Another hen is getting ready to hatch in 7 days and I want to make more room for my next batch of babies. I have 7 hens and 2 are broodies.
    I am a newbie and have a small coop and can't house all these chickens for the winter. Right now 2 weeks olds are in a portacrib in the garage and sitting hen is in a small starter coop in the yard. All others are free range.
    I wonder how the removal of these older chicks will be to mama who is a wonderful mother and usually stays with chicks for 7-8 weeks.

    HELP!
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    Northwest Arkansas
    I’ve had broody hens wean their chicks at three weeks, I’ve had some go a lot longer than 7 to 8 weeks. There is nothing magical about how long a broody hen will take care of her chicks. It could be pretty quickly but it is more likely to be longer than you want to wait.

    When you take the chicks away she will be upset for a day or two, looking for them and clucking for them. Then she will be over it. She will not suffer any long term effects, she will simply get over it and get on with her life. I understand that you love your chickens and only want the best for them, but they are not human. They do not react the same way humans do.

    Chickens developed as prey animals. The developed with a flock losing members all the time to predators, broody hens losing chicks and other flock members being caught by predators. Yes, it upsets the pecking order for a day or two if it is a dominant adult. A broody hen doesn’t skip a beat if she loses one or some of her chicks, she just takes care of the rest. She does not go looking for a missing chick. That would endanger her other chicks. If she loses them all it takes a couple of days for the hormones to wear off, but she is very soon back with the main flock, being a chicken.

    If you are going to take those chicks, take them and get it over with. Do not leave them here she can hear them peeping or anything like that. Make a clean break. She will quickly recover.
     
  3. Kayanne

    Kayanne Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 6, 2016
    Thank you so much. I know that I attach human feelings to my chickens. That said, you have helped me greatly to call a friend to come get the babies when other chicks hatch. It is so much fun!

    Another question, if I may. We had a big storm a few weeks ago that knocked down many trees. Since then the chickens are nesting wherever in the woods. Once we found a clutch of 23! Now they are really hiding them and I know not where. I look everyday and occasionally find one or an open she'll from a crow getting them. How do I stop this behavior?[​IMG]
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