Should i let Mom take her newly hatched chickens out into the flock?

Morrigan

Free Ranging
7 Years
Apr 9, 2014
3,049
12,166
692
N. California
Hi, I'm a new chicken owner going thru my first broody/hatch. I posted this question on the egg hatching thread, but thought It might actually be more appropriate for this one. Thanks so much in advance!

Mom hatched out two chicks yesterday. They are, for now, in a wire dog kennel with Mom+nest inside the coop. The kennel is really too small for them and Mom, so I wanted to open the cage and let them all out with the flock tomorrow -- which is 1 rooster and 9 other hens. I hope it's not a blood bath, but several things make me think it might be OK

--The rooster has been incredibly sweet to my broody. When she was setting and she would come out for her daily food/bathroom, he never tried to mate her and then would follow her back to the nest and sit outside softly purring until she re-situated herself.

--None of my hens have ever had more than a minor squabble with each other. No bullies that I can see, never a torn comb, etc.

--None seem particularly fixated on the chicks in the kennel.

--We have tons of chick-a-dees and sparrows hopping around the run and trying to steal their food. The hens have never chased or bothered them.

The alternative is to build them a whole separate area until they mature, which I had really hoped to avoid. Thoughts of more experienced owners would be most welcome.

I've got so much to learn!
roll.png
 

shober

Songster
10 Years
Aug 8, 2011
273
86
196
I don't think it would be a problem. The mother can protect them very well. There are many chickens where I stable my horses and there are always groups of mothers with chicks of all ages. Lots of roosters running around too. The chicks all stay with with their moms and are just fine!
 

bobbi-j

Enabler
11 Years
Mar 15, 2010
15,944
33,482
1,092
On the MN prairie.
Last year was the first year I tried letting a hen raise her chicks with the flock. It worked out just fine! The mama will be very protective and not let anyone mess with her babies. The babies will be integrated into the flock with Mom there to protect them, rather than try to introduce them after they're bigger and she's no longer protecting them. They will learn flock etiquette, and their place in the flock. I think I have two broodies right now, and plan to give them eggs this afternoon. I plan on letting the moms raise them with the flock when they hatch.
 

donrae

Hopelessly Addicted
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Jun 18, 2010
31,453
4,093
581
Southern Oregon
Another vote for letting them all be together. It just works out much better. I've never had a rooster go after chicks. The older hens will teach them good manners as they get older, but momma will keep the other ladies in line.
 

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom