Think my chick is getting cabin fever!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by krista74, Sep 26, 2014.

  1. krista74

    krista74 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Victoria, Australia.
    Hi all,

    A quick question for you.....

    We have one chick who is currently in a pen with his Momma which is about 1.5m x 1.5m big, and is situated outside and away from the main coop. The rest of the flock (5 hens and 1 rooster) come by and visit them every day, so they are all familiar with each other. In fact, the chick and Momma lived inside the coop originally, and I only moved them a week ago to give them some more space.

    Anyway, I feel like the chick is going bonkers in the cage all day. It has also become apparent that Momma is getting frustrated by his/her company only, and the two of them are continually looking for an exit point in the pen! Baby is only 3 weeks old today - he has no feathers to speak of, just a few on his wings and two sticking up like angel wings on his back. The rest of him is fuzz.

    If you ask my cat though, the rest of him looks delicious! And here is the issue. My cat is a hunter. She took out 5 wild baby rabbits last week. And my hens, who are not concerned by her, don't see her as a threat since she has never gone after one of them. (I think they are too big.)

    Will Momma protect her baby from a fast acting vicious cat attack?! And at what age will I be safe to let them out to free range? At this point I'm thinking when baby is about 3 months old and resembles a full grown chicken, lol. Also, is there any risk of the other hens attacking him/her?

    Thanks!

    Krista
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2014
  2. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    My first thought was let the hen and chick roam with the rest of the flock, but then I read the bit about the cat.... That could be a problem. I have seen hens protect their chicks against predators, but cats are excellent hunters and there is absolutely no guarantee that it won't kill the chick, unless you can keep it away from it, while it's out and about.

    I think what I would do in this situation is either confine the hen and chick in a bigger coop and run area, where the cat can't get to it, or, if they free range, let the mom and chick out for an hour or 5 every day and keep the cat confined in the house, so it can't get to the chick.
     
  3. krista74

    krista74 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Victoria, Australia.
    Thanks for taking the time to reply.

    Do you have any idea, if I were to keep them confined, at what age would I be safe in letting him/her out?

    Maybe when he/she is fully feathered and looks chicken-ish, rather than snack-ish?

    Krista
     
  4. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    3-4 months. That is a long time to keep it confined though...
     

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