When can I integrate my chicklets into the flock?

Granolamom

Songster
11 Years
Sep 9, 2008
525
5
151
Dallas
Sarah, our only BO hen, sucessfully hatched 6 beautiful, healthy babies a week ago
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. She's an awesome mother, and they're growing like crazy. We have them and their mom in a 4x6 pen inside our big run, so that the rest of the flock can get used to them, but won't bother them.
At what point is it safe to let the little ones into the big run, and then into the yard (my flock free-ranges for most of the day)?
 

Laffindog

In the Brooder
11 Years
Jun 26, 2008
95
2
39
Texas
I'd like to hear opinions on this, too, because I also have week-old chicks and the first couple of attempts at intoducing everyone has not gone very well. Mama panics and it quickly turns into mayhem.
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It seems like I've read somewhere that four weeks or six weeks is ok, but this mama hen really wants to get out of the pen and I don't know how to make everyone happy.
 

Granolamom

Songster
11 Years
Sep 9, 2008
525
5
151
Dallas
Quote:
We let our mom out every day, so she can "get away" for a little while and stretch her legs and wings. (I can totally relate to the need for this, being a mom to 2 small kids, myself;) ).
She always stays in sight of her babies, but definitely enjoys her time outside the pen, before returning to them. They're a VERY active bunch and are giving her a run for her money.
 

Laffindog

In the Brooder
11 Years
Jun 26, 2008
95
2
39
Texas
Yes, she does get out and it's a little hard to describe the set up of all this that we have now. It's a shed that half is chicken-wired and the coop on one side with a hatch that leads out into a large chicken yard. But in the other half that is still a shed, we put a very large dog cage in it to separate her while she was sitting on the eggs. She and the babies can see the other chickens. My husband rigged up a plywood board that we put across the doorway so our dogs (little dogs) can't get in the shed but there's still air flow and daylight, etc. So mama flies up to that board and sometimes lately she is going over into the regular backyard. She hears her babies cheep cheep cheep real loud and flies back over to them. I guess this is all working out ok but I wonder, like the original poster (which I'm sorry that I've hijacked your thread), when are the babies going to be big enough to let in with the adults?
 

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