Separating mom and chicks

JoePa

Songster
9 Years
Apr 18, 2011
285
78
176
Lehigh County Pa.
Is it necessary to separate a hen from the rest of the flock once the chicks hatch - will the other chickens hurt the chicks - I was thinking of putting a heat lamp in a corner of the coup so the chicks could keep warm if needed - I guess the mother hen will protect the chicks but if not then I would have to put them in a separate coup - thanks
 

JoePa

Songster
9 Years
Apr 18, 2011
285
78
176
Lehigh County Pa.
What about food and water - would I put starter food and water in a separate container just for the peeps - I have always bought peeps before so I am new to having peeps hatched - I guess taking the peeps away from the mother and putting them in a separate box would be very stressful on the mother hen -
 
Mar 25, 2020
1,759
9,711
486
a house, with a roof.
I would make a little pen for the hen and chicks for them to go into at night. Put chick feed in the pen as the hen can also have it after recovering from 21 days of very little food. The protein can be good for her.
 

centrarchid

Crossing the Road
11 Years
Sep 19, 2009
26,351
17,638
856
Holts Summit, Missouri
I have done some observing with broody hens that could move around with chicks according to their choosing. When confinement is not a factor, the broody's move about more or less separably from rest of flock, especially during the first 2 weeks. The broodies' home range is usually within the same home range she has when moving about with balance of flock, except the broody hen's area is smaller and locations occupied are not the same as balance of flock unless all hungry and feed is applied. Roosting with balance of flock seldom happens prior to week two because chicks usually can not fly up to where adults roost. Once the chicks and broody start roosting up, they still roost lower or off to the side when adult hens present. If only rooster, then broody and chicks will often roost with him much earlier. The broody hen's presence does facilitate integration of chicks into flock, yet chicks and juveniles are generally not welcomed among the adult females.

To mitigate stress, I allow broody hens with chicks to roost where they want so long as I can make sure it is safe from predators and extremes in weather. Plastic milk crates are something being used more frequently to protect ground roosting chicks and to provide a object they become imprinted on so as to be a psychological anchor I can use to direct roosting locations later.

When up and running during the production season, there is usually several broody hens about at a time. More effort is invested in making certain the broodies have ample feeding sites when feed used, cover patches and roosts.
 

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