Take chicks from mama?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by arockkid, Sep 24, 2011.

  1. arockkid

    arockkid Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 28, 2011
    Buffalo NY
    2 chicks hatched today...I thought I'd take them from her to put in a brooder, so they'd get used to being handled by people, but is there any real benefit, or should I just rig up something so she can raise them in the coop? The logistics of that seem a little harder (for me) but easier on them...do I keep them from the rest of the flock all the time? Or will she take care of them, thus they are immediately introduced to them so no intro issues weeks from now?
    I thought I was all prepared, as I raised these chicks from day-olds with perfect success....just didn't really think about all the variables of them being hatched by their mom and not a machine!
    Quick answers would be great, since it'll get dark soon, and the rest of the flock (of 6)will go back to the coop!
  2. heatherindeskies

    heatherindeskies Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 23, 2010
    SE Minnesota
    awww, let mom raise the babies she hatched, but keep them separated for a while from the others. Although mom should protect them from the other birds, it will just be easier if she does not have to. The downside is that you won't have them as near to you to play with and tame, but that taming can come in time. Just keep handling them!
    Good luck with them!
  3. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    I have found it beneficial to the peace of the flock to allow broody hens to raise the chicks. Then they are automatically members of the flock when she shoos them away around 6-8 weeks old. No integration issues and violent battles. (You should wait until they are around the same size as the adults to integrate new members if raising chicks in the brooder.)

    I agree with heather in that it is very helpful to give the new mom her own space for just a while so she can teach the new additions to find food, etc.

    If you don't have the facilities to do this then it is up to the mom to defend the chicks from the other hens.
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2011
  4. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    She'll watch out for them. Try to keep them seperate for a few days, then just let momma do her thing. My other birds never messed with the chicks when they were broody raised. The roo was thrilled to have someone else to come running when he called for treats!
  5. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    Quote:[​IMG] off topic- but your signature line!!!! [​IMG]

    BTW I agree with your post donrae.
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2011
  6. arockkid

    arockkid Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 28, 2011
    Buffalo NY
    I did some quick research/reading even before the replies, and glad to see I picked right. I just plopped the brooder in the coop and will stick her nest box in there shortly.
    Especially when I saw how much they already love their mama. It would have been ridiculous to take them away!
  7. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    My broodies also raise their chicks in with the flock. You don't have to rig up anything for them. Mama takes care of keeping them warm.

    You didn't ask, but I will say that I would feed the flock a chick starter or grower, though, to make sure the chicks don't eat any layer. Just put the layer aside for a few weeks.
  8. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Quote:X2 Mama Hen can do a much better job of raising those chicks, I promise you that.
  9. TheMainException

    TheMainException Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 7, 2010
    Lebanon, PA
    When I went on vacation, I let the chickens do what they wanted with the eggs. When I got back, I had my "twins" sitting on the eggs guarding them amazingly (they are named Salt and Pepper because they look very much alike and one is white and one is black of course!). They hatched those chicks and took turns with them outside and sitting on the eggs until they hatched. I got them situated with their own place and their own run away from the rest. I had about 24 eggs that were under them. I have 5 chicks. (there are many reasons for no more making it than that, but not important to the story for now) My two mothers do a wonderful job with the chicks. The one is very defensive of them and the other is great at finding them food. I was lucky that they worked together like this, it was great to see them in action. I took one of the mothers away last week and I'm going to take the other away this week and begin to be more hands on with the chicks so they get comfortable with me as their keeper.
  10. Gypsy07

    Gypsy07 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 4, 2010
    Glasgow, Scotland
    Your story reminds me of that book that caused a big fuss a while ago: Heather Has Two Mommies. Lesbian hens in action! LOL!

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