Separating chick & hen

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by drrose, Aug 12, 2016.

  1. drrose

    drrose Hatching

    Aug 12, 2016
    One of our free range hens just had 1chick. Because the hens range with large animals (pony, donkey, goats, alpacas ) and because I feel it is prey for cats, I put it in a cage in the henhouse. The hen was upset so I put her in the cage with chick overnight and left her out in morning. Hen won't leave side of cage. Debating putting the two of them in a large predator safe box stall in barn but would have limited lighting. Advice please!
  2. Jensownzoo

    Jensownzoo Songster

    Feb 7, 2016
    Saint Louis, MO
    If it were me, I would just let the hen take care of things on range. One chick is much easier to keep track of and protect than a whole clutch!

    However, if you are really opposed to that suggestion, yes the stall would work. You can always provide extra lighting temporarily via extension cords or battery-operated lanterns if it's too dim. Plus let them out for supervised exercise.
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
  4. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    I have 4 broods with 3 or fewer chicks. Chicks have been pooled into a single cage away from hens. This will break broody cycles so hens can recondition for another breeding effort before the production season lets out.
  5. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon

    With just one chick, I'd either let them range together, or keep them together in a safe place. The larger animals aren't so much an issue in my experience, but I have lost several chicks to my barn cats, so I understand your concern. I think having the chick by itself would be a bad idea, though. Keep chick and momma together. When chick is about 4 weeks old, they should be okay to be turned back out and the cats shouldn't bother it at that point.
  6. azygous

    azygous Free Ranging

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    One week ago, my Speckled Sussex Linda hatched a single chick. (Two out of three eggs did not hatch.) Linda and chick are in a coop section by themselves. There is a run coming off this coop section, and they spend a few hours a day outside where they have the run to themselves. The rest of the flock free range and get a chance to see the new addition and the broody mama while they are out in this run.

    I absolutely would not let this chick out to free range at this stage. I know Linda would do her best to protect it, but I refuse to take a chance of something happening to the little one.

    If I didn't have the luxury of this extra run and coop section, I would create a protected space somehow. Baby chicks are simply too vulnerable free ranging in a wild area such as mine.

    Decades ago, I had a couple of bantams, Leonard and Louise. They were semi-wild and lived in the hedges and trees in my yard in a suburb setting where there were very few predators. An occasional possum, maybe. Louise disappeared for several weeks, and returned with eleven chicks. They all survived free-ranging to drive me nuts practicing their adolescence crowing at 3 am while roosting in the hedge outside my bedroom window.

    A tame and protected backyard would be the only exception where I would let a broody out to free range with a baby chick.
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