Separating Mama Hen From Chicks

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Shellylou, Sep 22, 2015.

  1. Shellylou

    Shellylou New Egg

    Sep 22, 2015
    We had a Broody hen hatch 2 chicks just over 2 weeks ago. We decided to purchase 6 more chicks that are now 4 weeks old, they are in a brooder inside the house. Mother hen is doing a great job with her two babies, but I am wanting to put her two chicks in with the other 6 so they can all grow up together.

    1. Is it ok to put the 2 week old ones in the brooder with the 4 week old chicks?

    2. Will it terribly upset the hen to take her babies before she is ready to let them go?

    3. Does it take time to reintroduce the hen back into the flock?

    My other problem is we are going out of town in two weeks for a wedding, bad timing I know. We have someone house sitting for us and I want everything set up as best as possible for her and all of our chickens.

    Thank you in advance for any advice!
  2. 1muttsfan

    1muttsfan Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 26, 2011
    Upper Peninsula Michigan
    You could take the chicks from her anytime you want. She will likely miss them at first, then go about her business - eventually she will kick them to the side on her own; you could wait until then to put them in with the others. She may or may not integrate well, you should defininetly monitor that situation.

    I would not recommend any changes just before you leave, so do it now or wait until you come back.

    Have fun at the wedding [​IMG]
  3. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Let It Snow Premium Member

    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    I wouldn't take the chicks away, they are already a part of the flock, or at least they should be, I always pen my broody and her chicks for about two weeks in a temporary wire pen where she can be seen, then I begin letting her out, putting them back into the pen if there's too much trouble and trying again next day until they are mostly getting along.

    Why do you want trying take them and then have to put them back, plus two weeks difference in age is bit too much, the older ones will probably pick on the smaller, get your broody back with the flock, then integrate the chicks when they are feathered out enough, best time is around 8-10 weeks, using the same technique as introducing your broody.

    There will be no way the older chicks and younger ones would form a cohesive group at this point anyways so leave the chicks with their mommas.
    1 person likes this.
  4. song of joy

    song of joy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 22, 2012
    Central Pennsylvania
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2015
  5. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon

    This could be an iffy proposition, and will depend on your climate, but I'd give the following a try....

    Put the broody hen, her chicks and the brooder chicks all in with the flock now.

    Here's my thinking....

    Introducing a broody hen and her chicks to the flock is better done sooner. Momma is more protective of the babies, more hormonal and both she and the babies integrate better if it's done sooner.
    If you're causing upheaval in the flock, might as well do it all at once. The other hens are quite likely to think the brooder babies belong to Momma also, and leave them alone.

    That said, depending on your climate you might need a lamp or a heating pad cave in the coop for the brooder babies, unless Momma will let them snuggle at night. They'll be fine during the day, it's only at night you'd have to worry about them getting cold.
    1 person likes this.
  6. Shellylou

    Shellylou New Egg

    Sep 22, 2015
    Thank you to everyone for your advice! I think I am going to leave things how they are right now and decide what to do when we get back from the wedding.

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