What age for brood to move into new home?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by BroodCoop, Feb 12, 2012.

  1. BroodCoop

    BroodCoop Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 13, 2012
    The brood of thirteen is four weeks old. They are Sex-Links of various mixes and were raised by a Blue Cochin Broody. They currently nest overnight in a small cage/coop about 30 inches by 30 inches but "free range" in a fenced acre during the day.

    Our current plan is to house them in a 4x8 chicken tractor type coop with nest boxes built in. They will still range during the day.

    We are not sure about the age when they are ready to make a move like this. Also not sure about The Mama and when she might go back to her original flock.

    BTW, I feel privileged to have played my part in this broody chicken group and encourage you to put some fertile eggs under a broody hen if and when you get the opportunity. It is an amazing experience. I read a bunch of threads here about how to break a broody and I am always cheering for the hen to get her way.

    Also, we are near the Gulf Coast and have pretty mild weather. Last night it was 27 or so and that was probably the coldest day of this "winter".

    This is a baby picture of the brood.

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    Last edited: Feb 17, 2012
  2. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    My momma hens usually "wean" the babies around five to six weeks. When they're feathered and can hardly fit under her anymore, it's time for them to go! My hens usually start laying again a week or so later.

    I love broodies, too! I also don't like the breaking broody threads, I'm thinking send them this way and I'll let them brood all they want!
     
  3. bj taylor

    bj taylor Chillin' With My Peeps

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    i love the picture. it would be wonderful to experience that.
     
  4. BroodCoop

    BroodCoop Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 13, 2012
    I moved the brood into their new coop night before last and last night they went in it by themselves. A couple of them are not roosting yet but should soon.

    I have a new broody hen, a Buff Orpington this time. This was the reason for making the move now. She took the move to the brood coop fine but I have not seen her leave it yet. I am afraid she might run herself down by not eating, drinking and exercising. Today I will try to get fertile eggs for her to sit. She is on a couple non-fertile eggs now to hold her interest.

    I still have an unresolved issue. Two Buffs were living in the brood's new coop. One is brooding and I had to evict the other one. I am putting her in the "chicken jail" at night for now but need to come up with new quarters for her.

    The picture is of the broody coop.

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    Last edited: Feb 17, 2012
  5. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Nature knows best. The mother hen will boot them out from her care at 6-7 weeks, typically. If she kicks them out, which she usually does, that's your signal that she thinks they are feathered out and good to go.

    When we artificially brood, using a lamp, we are merely copying the hen's behavior and scheduling. We also wean off heat lamps at 6 weeks.
     
  6. BroodCoop

    BroodCoop Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 13, 2012
    The mention of heat lamps brings up a question. Are my four week olds in danger from cold weather? Since they are sleeping on a roost they cannot crowd under Mama for warmth. I guess they can cozy up to each other side by side. Is that enough? I doubt we will see another freeze and pretty sure nothing much below that. But we do get some cold, damp, blowing weather around here this time of year that hurts me more than a dry cold.
     
  7. BroodCoop

    BroodCoop Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 13, 2012
    Last night the evicted Buff moved back into the coop and roosted with the brood. If this works out it solves the housing crisis.

    One of the brood sticks really close to Mom and she roosted between the adults while the rest of the brood roosted together on another roost. The roosts are built like a "T" and the adults took the short side of the T.

    Waiting for a call to pickup the fertile eggs for the broody Buff.
     
  8. BroodCoop

    BroodCoop Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 13, 2012
    The broody Buff hatched her first egg today. I was looking at Tuesday for hatching but today is good too. We are guessing the hatchling is a Buff. I will be looking for additional chicks to round out her brood to about 14 as this progresses. We have a little more confidence this time around so we will probably spend a little extra for some interesting babies.

    The first brood is all grown up and acting like real chickens. The Blue Cow has moved back into her original coop and the displaced Buff moved with her. So the Buff has a new home and the housing crisis is over.

    Now we have a third broody, the Black Cochin. Cochins are not known as great layers but she was doing great up until the time she went broody. I need to house another broody and find some more fertile eggs. More interested in specialty breeds this time.
     
  9. BroodCoop

    BroodCoop Out Of The Brooder

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    Big Buff, our second broody, hatched six out of eight eggs. We think they are three Buffs, an araucana, coronation sussex, and a speckled sussex. Is that what you see in the picture? We will add eight more chicks to the brood. First hatched Sunday night. Today, Tuesday, she took the six out. We checked the other two eggs, they weren't going to hatch. Mama knows best.

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    Last edited: Mar 13, 2012

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