What signs do I look for to tell when Mama hen wants to leave her chicks?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by kelly77, Mar 1, 2013.

  1. kelly77

    kelly77 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 20, 2012
    I have had a mother hen and her 3 chicks in my room in a kiddy plastic pool, all set up with a box, shavings, hay, and clean water n food at all time, grit, treats so on...They are in the house because it is winter here in NH. The chicks are 4 weeks old, she has been a good mama, taught them what food is good, how to dust bathe, scratch ...but lately she has been jumping out of the pool, babies followed her yesterday..pooped all over the floor...good thing I have no carpet and have plastic down. Anyways, I took them out put them all in a xlarge tote w a screen on top, then felt bad so I put them back in the pool...only to wake up this morning to mama clucking as if she was annoyed and looking to go somewhere. Not sure if she wants to get away from them or just take them exploring...? If I put them all out in the coop won't the others pick on the babies? They are still pretty small.
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    There's your sign. She's probably missing her friends.
    When they ignore them they're done. If I want to raise the chicks with the flock put them together the first week. The mother will protect them.
    I usually raise chicks separately. In that case I put the broody in a separate pen and when she gives up on the chicks I put her back and continue to raise the chicks in the separate pen till they're grown so they can integrate.
    If there's just one or two chicks I let the hen raise them with the flock because it would be too hard to integrate 1 or 2 chickens later.

    Feeding is the reason I usually raise them separately.

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