When can Mom and chicks return to the coop?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by britsbantams, Jul 26, 2013.

  1. britsbantams

    britsbantams Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 10, 2013
    College Station, TX
    My silkie has just hatched 3 chicks, ranging from 2-4 days old. I have had her in a seperate area to hatch her chicks in peace, but now I am not quite sure how long to keep her seperate from the rest of the flock. I have 10 hens(silkies, sizzles, and cochins), ranging from 4 months to 9 months, and one silkie rooster. And if it matters, the silkie who hatched eggs is definitely one at the top of their "peccking order". I like to think I have a pretty docile flock, seeing as I can walk up to any of my chickens and pick them right up, and haven't had any bad pecking issues with any of them yet. I guess those stories of walking into a blood bath where a baby chick has beeen killed by the others really scares me. How long should I wait before bringing them all together?
    (Also, the flock lives in a coop with an attached run... but free range during the day.) <-- the free ranging also makes me nervous with the little ones.
     
  2. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    I did have an "aggressive" flock that attacked and killed small chicks, so I kept moms and chicks separate for the first 4-5 weeks before reintroducing them as a group to the flock. You don't have to wait that long though. If your flock is friendly let your new mom get used to her role and then introduce them under supervision (you) to the flock after a few days. Letting the flock meet the chicks while they are with an established flock member (their mom), that will also protect them, makes it easier for them to be accepted by the existing flock and makes the integration much easier.

    Free ranging is good for moms and chicks, if it's possible and safe let them out. In my experience the broodies never ventured very far from the coop with the chicks, but if you have predators in the area, such as cats, I would keep them in the run for the first few weeks rather.
     
  3. britsbantams

    britsbantams Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 10, 2013
    College Station, TX
    Ok. Also, when I make the move... Should i put them in the coop or let them meet in the yard? Audrey (momma hen) has shown definite signs of being protective over her babies. One of my cochins tried to investigate while i was cleaning her area and she jumped on her quick, before she could get near the chicks.
     
  4. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    It would be better to let them meet in the yard, so mom can herd her chicks away from the others if she feels the need. She will probably not mingle much with the group at first and concentrate on the chicks instead. The others will come over and have a look and she will take care of them.
     

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