The benefits of brooding chicks in with the flock

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Chickenaddict, May 15, 2011.

  1. Chickenaddict

    Chickenaddict Songster

    May 19, 2008
    East Bethel MN
    I have a hen who decided it was her turn to raise a clutch, this was her first time getting the chance. I gave her several eggs mostly seramas and 1 cochin egg. 2 days before hatch day I had my first chick already! Of course a tiny little serama as those typically hatch around day 18-19 altho I have had them wait until day 21. Mama was doing soooo well with the first one. Next day the second baby hatched, 2 more the following day and last but not least the fluffy cochin baby (the rest of the eggs went full term and died in the shell). I kept mama and her newly hatched clutch in a brooder inside the coop for the first week or so. After that every morning mama would look at me and tell me she wanted out with the kids (i'm the bird whisperer yanno [​IMG] lol). I put her and the babies on the floor of the coop and off they went for the day with the rest of the flock. Now those babies are around 6 weeks old, still with mama. They acclimated themselves into the flock by the age of 2 weeks. The roosters look after them and the other hens don't mind them at all. The past few nights fuzzy the mama has been getting to the high roost but some of her little munchkins can't quite make it up there. The tiniest serama pullet was MIA as was the cochin baby. I searched and searched and couldn't find them anywhere. They weren't up with mama and the 3 other babies that can make it to the high roost. I sat there n scratched my head about it seeing as I had just locked up the coop about an hour b4 and all were accounted for. Suddenly I see a row of serama adults kind of shift on the lower roost and there was the little tiny pullet, nestled between them, few birds down there was the cochin baby also nestled between the adults. [​IMG]
    I am such a lucky chicken mama to have such a loving and accepting flock! That had to be the cutest thing I had seen for a long time, unfortunately I didn't have the camera with me [​IMG]

  2. madabouthens

    madabouthens In the Brooder

    May 14, 2011
    thats good to hear but the only problem might be if there is rats about and if u let the chicks out the rats will eat them. [​IMG] i set loads of poision and keep the chicks seperate till they are big enough to be able to get away from a rat but nice to hear u have a good flock [​IMG] [​IMG]
  3. AKsmama

    AKsmama Songster

    Jun 20, 2010
    South Carolina
    How cute! I've got my first mama raising 5 chicks (they're about 2 weeks old now) in with the flock. They sleep in a broody box, but in a few weeks they'll have to move out b/c now I have a Marans sitting on a clutch. I have left them alone, other than making sure they have chick food and water, and let her do the raising. It was fun to watch her take them out for the first time when they were 3 days old, finding bugs and things for them to eat. She stayed near the coop the first several days, but is now taking them further in to the woods and yard. She's a good mama and I am amazed at how accepting the flock has been of these little ones. It beats brooding them in the house, for sure! And I'll bet these chicks will be great foragers.
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging 9 Years

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    Hens have been raising chicks with the flock for thousands of years. Sometimes you have problems, but sometimes you have problems with integration if you raise them apart. I very much prefer to let Mama raise them with the flock. I do believe how much room she has to work with has a lot to do with how successful she is, but if you don't have enough space for a broody to raise the chicks with the flock, you are more likely to have problems with integration later.

    My broody raised chicks are better foragers than my brooder raised chicks, but they are not as friendly. We all have different goals.

  5. the1honeycomb

    the1honeycomb Songster

    Apr 23, 2010
    Yadkinville NC-3yrs
    I bought chicks of different ages in the beginning I only had 6 adult birds and wanted more! as I bought more babies I continued to bring them all together and as I add more babies they act like it is the most common thing the Lead Rooster runs all over the yard and protects all of them. he has even been known to attack the neighbors dog through the fence!!! I keep them all together and they take care of each other

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by