What to do about the ramp and baby chicks?? - Bad idea?? Advice Needed

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by PamB, Dec 30, 2010.

  1. PamB

    PamB Songster

    Jul 20, 2010
    Dayville, CT
    I have a broody sitting on 5 eggs that look to be developing well. I want to allow her to raise the babies out in the coop on her own. My plan is to section her and the babies off from the others with chicken wire for the first week and then remove the chicken wire and let her venture out with them when she feels it is time. My question is, there is a ramp to get out of the coop. Is this terribly dangerous for the babies?? I'm not sure how to remedy this so that they won't get pushed off or fall off. Any ideas? Thoughts?
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2010

  2. Yup, terribly dangerous to the babies. Not because they might fall off, but because they won`t immediately know how to follow the hen up the ramp, thereby chilling and dieing. If you want to do as described, keep them penned for at least 2 weeks and then when you let them out, watch carefully to be sure they all get the idea. Good luck..........Pop
  3. PamB

    PamB Songster

    Jul 20, 2010
    Dayville, CT
    Ok, so I should wait two weeks. Sounds good. Is this a bad idea? I don't really want to separate them because I figure it will be so much harder to reintegrate them. This is my first time with a broody, so I'm really not sure what to do. I want her to be able to teach them and do the "mom" thing, but am I making the right decision here? When do they normally want to venture out with the babies? Is it two weeks? I could keep them penned up in the coop longer if that would be better.
  4. happymorrows

    happymorrows Songster

    Feb 25, 2009
    Morganton, NC
    I have the same issue, and this is my first time as well, so I am just sharing what my experience has been. My three little mutts where born on the 20th of December. I never had them separate from the rest of the flock, but I did provide the mama with a large cat carrier which she stayed in for the first few days with a heat lamp pointed on it. After the first three days or so she and the babies have been sitting under the lamp right outside the carrier. The other chickens leave them alone. I have a SLW that is an "aunt". She sat with the mama broody a lot while she was brooding, and my broody will let her around the babies. The others just ignore them, or, if they try to eat the chick crumbles I have in there, the mama pecks them in the head.

    Just recently the mama has been coming out of the coop for short periods of time. Especially when I throw treats out. The babies will come to the door, but so far have not tried to go for the ramp. What happens is, the mama runs out, grabs a bite, hears the babies crying for her, and runs back up. If they get near the door she runs up and shoos them back in.

    With my original group, (whom I got as day olds) I put them in the coop around 3 weeks or so, and they were able to navigate the ramp at that time, and I have a pretty long and steep ramp. Here are some pictures.

    Here are my original girls navigating the ramp last summer:
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Here are my current little lovelies and their set up:
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Remember, every coop dynamic is different. You have to judge how your chickens will react to the babies. And also how protective your mama is before you let everyone interact. All it takes is one overly aggressive hen (or roo) and there could be tragedy in the coop. Hope this helps a little. Like I said, I am far from an expert, but I always think it helps to hear how someone with a similar situation is dealing with it.
  5. PamB

    PamB Songster

    Jul 20, 2010
    Dayville, CT
    Thank you so much for sharing your experience. I do worry about the chicks safety with the others. However, mom is pretty high up on the pecking order and noone usually messes with her. I have all silkies and they are pretty docile. The only problem I've ever had was with two cockerals fighting, so I rehomed one and it has been peaceful since. I'm still not sure how I will handle this, but I'm hoping I do the right thing. Thanks again for the information...it has helped a lot! [​IMG]
  6. Quote:Sorry, I didn`t notice before that they are silkies. The fact that they don`t fly at all changes things a bit. I would keep them penned until they are a month old. As long as they are in sight of the others there should not be a problem reintegrating the hen and with the chicks being a month old they should be able to negotiate the ramp after a little familiarity. Kepp an eye on them to be sure they don`t get lost as the hen goes up the ramp.......Pop

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