Separating chick & hen

drrose

Hatching
Aug 12, 2016
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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!
 

Jensownzoo

Songster
Feb 7, 2016
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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.
 

aart

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Nov 27, 2012
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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.
X2
 

centrarchid

Crossing the Road
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Sep 19, 2009
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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.
 

donrae

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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.
 

azygous

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Dec 11, 2009
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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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