Seperating hens and rooster to raise chicks

Nate in WI

In the Brooder
Dec 21, 2020
10
4
16
i have 23 hens, 1 rooster. 3 hens and the rooster are Barred Rock chickens. I'd like to sperate the 3 barred rock hens with the rooster to let them raise chicks naturally in the yard, fenced off from the other laying hens.
We have a large run and the flock gets out every afternoon to eat and whatever. We live near noone so it works well.
questions on the raising of new barred rock chickens..
I underatand the rooster will fertilize eggs and I let them just keeping laying eggs until some hatch? Then get the rooster out of there and back with other chickens? Then let the mother hens raise these chicks seperated until they're full grown? Should I just do 1 barred rock hen with little ones?

What else do I need to know? I've never tried the natural raising of chicks before.

Thanks!
Nate
 

roosterhavoc

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You may find that barred rocks aren’t real interested in hatching and raising chicks at all. If you can get a hen to set on eggs yeah one hen with her chicks. Having extra hens around can cause issues and it’s best to remove the rooster once a hen is setting on eggs so he doesn’t continually harass her.
Most likely you’ll find other breeds more willing to hatch and raise their own chicks though.
 

DobieLover

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i have 23 hens, 1 rooster. 3 hens and the rooster are Barred Rock chickens. I'd like to sperate the 3 barred rock hens with the rooster to let them raise chicks naturally in the yard, fenced off from the other laying hens.
We have a large run and the flock gets out every afternoon to eat and whatever. We live near noone so it works well.
questions on the raising of new barred rock chickens..
I underatand the rooster will fertilize eggs and I let them just keeping laying eggs until some hatch? Then get the rooster out of there and back with other chickens? Then let the mother hens raise these chicks seperated until they're full grown? Should I just do 1 barred rock hen with little ones?

What else do I need to know? I've never tried the natural raising of chicks before.

Thanks!
Nate
Hens won't set eggs and raise chicks unless they are broody.
PBRs definitely can go broody. Mine did and was an amazing mother.
You don't need to remove the rooster or the other hens. Broodies protect their chicks.
IMG_20190725_075129242.jpg

IMG_20190809_201043917.jpg

Why do you want to separate them away from the others? Are you looking strictly to raise more pure PBRs?
 

roosterhavoc

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Regardless it’s best to remove the rooster. Not all roosters are docile and well mannered. Once a hen is actually setting on eggs the more birds around the more stressed they are. I’m aware you don’t have to. I’ve pulled hens and had roosters raise the chicks but that’s not the norm.
 

Nate in WI

In the Brooder
Dec 21, 2020
10
4
16
great info guys thank you! If i leave the BR hens with the other 22 hens and 1 rooster in 8x8 coop (with outside access) wont the other hens destroy the chick regardless of how well she protects them? Also how many chicks will a hen raise at a time? I understand the broody thing as i've had hens sit on eggs all day or even several days, rare but some of mine do..
 

Nate in WI

In the Brooder
Dec 21, 2020
10
4
16
and yes i've heard you dont want to breed mixed type chicks, so i figure pure breed BRs are best? I've also read that BRs are good brooders...
 

RoosterML

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Seeing how your rooster is barred rock there is no need to separate the batted rock hens from the flock. You’ll have pure barred rocks as long as you collect eggs from your barred hens an place them under a broody hen. I do not recommend removing anyone from the flock.
 

RoosterML

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great info guys thank you! If i leave the BR hens with the other 22 hens and 1 rooster in 8x8 coop (with outside access) wont the other hens destroy the chick regardless of how well she protects them? Also how many chicks will a hen raise at a time? I understand the broody thing as i've had hens sit on eggs all day or even several days, rare but some of mine do..
Your issue is to many birds for that small a coop.
 

roosterhavoc

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great info guys thank you! If i leave the BR hens with the other 22 hens and 1 rooster in 8x8 coop (with outside access) wont the other hens destroy the chick regardless of how well she protects them? Also how many chicks will a hen raise at a time? I understand the broody thing as i've had hens sit on eggs all day or even several days, rare but some of mine do..
You could have issues with the other hens messing with the chicks. I recommend separating the hen that’s sitting on eggs if and when you get a broody hen to actually set. The risk of a rooster messing with a hen and her busting eggs is there along with a rooster accidentally stepping on chicks once they hatch. Most hens won’t mess with chicks but they will sometimes and having a bunch of hens along with one hen with chicks is still a risk.
Since you’ve never done it before I would remove all problems before they arise and not *hope* everything works out.
 

DobieLover

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great info guys thank you! If i leave the BR hens with the other 22 hens and 1 rooster in 8x8 coop (with outside access) wont the other hens destroy the chick regardless of how well she protects them? Also how many chicks will a hen raise at a time? I understand the broody thing as i've had hens sit on eggs all day or even several days, rare but some of mine do..
You don't have enough room in your coop for the birds you have let alone hatching and adding more.
Yes, you can have mixed breed chicks. The ones pictured in my above post are mixed breeds. I currently have 7 mixed breed hens and pullets in my flock.
And yes, a hen can raise chicks with the rooster and lots of other hens and pullets around. My last broody raised 7 chicks among a flock of 32 birds total that included a rooster and 2 sexually mature cockerels.
IMG_20200826_202212464.jpg
 

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