Separating Hen from Chicks?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by jed1154, May 10, 2009.

  1. jed1154

    jed1154 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 10, 2008
    We have 3 bantam chicks that are about a week old. We let the hen sit on the eggs and raise them so far. They're in a separate cage (3'x2'x1.5') within the coop to keep them safe and give them a little privacy. The only thing is, the cage is not big enough to keep them all in until the chicks are big enough to introduce to the rest. We have 3 guineas that we just don't trust with small chicks.

    Anyway, so at some point we will probably have to remove the mother hen to allow for more space. I tried to put her in the run to stretch her legs yesterday, but she went right back to the cage, wanting back in. So when we do separate them, we'll probably have to remove the chicks from the coop so that the hen doesn't go crazy. Does it make any difference if we separate them now or in a week or two?

    This is our first hatching, so we're new to all of this. Is there any harm in keeping the hen with them - she can move around just fine and all, but doesn't get much "exercise."
  2. debilorrah

    debilorrah The Great Guru of Yap Premium Member

    I would do it the other way around. Take the chicks inside in a brooder with a light and put the hen back in the flock. That is what we did and the mama was only out of it for a day or two.
  3. Portia

    Portia Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 29, 2008
    South Central PA
    I agree with Debi, remove the chicks and put the hen back in the flock. My hens brood and raise their chicks right in with everyone else, but my flock is free range. This also means that it is not uncommon for chicks to 'disappear'. The hens take this in stride, and if they only have a couple chicks and they are all recycled into the wilderness surrounding the house, the hens simply go about their business. Some hens take it a bit harder than the others, but never more than 24 hours. Now, if they can hear or see the chicks, they will want nothing but to be with keep them out of sight and somewhere where the hen can't hear their cheeps.
  4. chickenguysmom

    chickenguysmom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Not sure if my experience is typical because we just came to the same thing. Ours were about 3 weeks old and we let the broody out daily with her chicks to free-range with them. One night we didn't get out to the chicken tractor to let them back in and she took them to the coop. They seemed to be doing allright so we left them. She keeps them warm and defends them (2) from others. She is a cochin and can make herself perfectly round by puffing up, very intimidating. Ohh, scarrrrry! (not to me, just the other chickens)!

    Don't know if your experience will be the same. If you have reason to believe that others will attack you could try a short time with the others with you standing by ready to break up any pecking. You would know then how much and to what extent your broody will step in to defend her babies.
  5. jed1154

    jed1154 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 10, 2008
    I took them away from her. She needs to get out and stretch her legs and get back into the flock. She is a bantam, as puffy as she gets and as tough as she thinks she is, she will not be able to defend three chicks from hostile guineas.

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