We should have chicks any day now, but are they safe?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Tammi101, Jul 8, 2011.

  1. Tammi101

    Tammi101 New Egg

    2
    0
    7
    Jun 13, 2008
    My brooder should be hatching her clutch any day now and this is our first time letting a hen do this.
    Right now she’s in a pen with a small animal carrier as a box. How long after hatching can we turn the whole bunch loose into the run and will their mom protect them from the other dozen hens and rooster? I worry that they may be killed or even eaten by the other chickens…..someone please set my mind at ease….
    [​IMG]
     
  2. LarryPQ

    LarryPQ Easter Hatch!!

    10,884
    21
    291
    Jul 17, 2009
    They could be hurt or killed. Most folks will tell you to seperate the hen and her chicks until they are semi-feathered (at least). Keep in mind, momma hens have been raising chicks for a loooooong time, and are good at protecting them.

    Still if you don't seperate them, you can expect some losses.
     
  3. Elphaba2140

    Elphaba2140 Chillin' With My Peeps

    486
    2
    121
    Mar 20, 2010
    Northern Illinois
    I just asked this same question. Thanks for answering.
     
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

    20,292
    3,597
    496
    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    Quote:I don't agree with this statement. Chickens are living animals so anything can happen. Each chicken has its own personality and each flock has its own dynamics. I do think that extra space helps.

    Hens have been raising chicks with the flock for thousands of years. Sometimes bad things happen. Sometimes bad things happen when you separate the hen and chicks from the flock. Not all broodies are good mothers, whether with the flock or separated. If you separate them from the flock, then at some point you have to integrate them. Sometimes bad things happen when you integrate them. To me, letting Mama handle the integration is well worth the other risks.

    The reason I don't agree with the statement is that usually, with mine , I have zero losses when the broody raises them with the flock.
     
  5. yinepu

    yinepu Overrun With Chickens

    Quote:exactly.. I have had some hens that made excellent mothers.. and i had others who lost every chick in the clutch just because they didn't care.. didnt matter if they were with the flock or not
     
  6. LarryPQ

    LarryPQ Easter Hatch!!

    10,884
    21
    291
    Jul 17, 2009
    Quote:I don't agree with this statement. Chickens are living animals so anything can happen. Each chicken has its own personality and each flock has its own dynamics. I do think that extra space helps.

    Hens have been raising chicks with the flock for thousands of years. Sometimes bad things happen. Sometimes bad things happen when you separate the hen and chicks from the flock. Not all broodies are good mothers, whether with the flock or separated. If you separate them from the flock, then at some point you have to integrate them. Sometimes bad things happen when you integrate them. To me, letting Mama handle the integration is well worth the other risks.

    The reason I don't agree with the statement is that usually, with mine , I have zero losses when the broody raises them with the flock.

    Pehaps I should have just said, "Expect some losses" ? [​IMG] But you are right.

    I have had hens succesfully brood chicks with the flock. I have had bad mommas who do crappy jobs no matter where you put them.

    The worst experience I have had was with my best momma---the freakshow older chickens must have stepped on the poor chick. I came out to momma trying to goad the chick into going to the nest, but the poor thing had a horribly broken leg. I had to put it down (the leg was way beyond my ability to doctor). Momma didn't speak to me for weeks.
     
  7. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

    20,292
    3,597
    496
    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    One of my experiences with a crappy momma was that sometimes she would go out a gate and make a turn along the fence. Not all chicks made it out the gate, so they would follow momma along the fence but could not get through. Momma did not understand the concept of go to the gate and get them. I had one hen that did that a lot and she only had 4 chicks. The rooster would often come over and watch the chicks until momma straightened it out. The third time I saw the rooster do that, he seemed to look at the momma hen and give a sign as he sat down. I had a hen with 15 chicks that never did that. I agree some broodies are better than others.

    My most recent loss was when a very young chick got into a grow out pen with 8 week olds. There was a spot in the gate that the chick got through. They killed the chick when momma could not get in there to protect it.

    If you isolate the broody with her chicks and one gets through the fence to mix with the rest of the flock, this stuff can happen. I've seen others post about that on here. There are risks no matter what you do.
     
  8. Tammi101

    Tammi101 New Egg

    2
    0
    7
    Jun 13, 2008
    [​IMG]
    So I went out to check the "nursery" and one baby didn't make it all the way out of the egg. He was gone, but I can't figure out why, he looked like a perfect black silkie.
    He was cold, so I don't think there was any hope for him. Could the shell have been to hard? Now we're just waiting to see if any others make it out. Will they hatch one a day or could several hatch out on the same day.
    Nervous mother here.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by