When do I mix mom & chicks with other hens?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by SoCal-chick, Jul 25, 2008.

  1. SoCal-chick

    SoCal-chick Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 17, 2007
    San Diego
    Hi, I wrote before about my broody hen trying to hatch plastic Easter eggs. Well I'm happy to say that 2 of the 3 fertile eggs we switched for the plastic ones hatched on the 4th of July. She is a great momma! We cordoned off part of the pen area for mom and chicks and they have a rabbit hutch to sleep in at night. Our 4 other hens stand at the fence between them and gawk, which sometimes irritates Iris, the mom. My question is; How old do you think the chicks should be before we can take down the dividing fence to let them all run around together. We would keep the rabbit hutch there for Iris and the chicks to retreat to and sleep in. Also, when the chicks were just one day old one of them was able to get out of the hutch and went through a small crack in the fence to the side with the other hens. I heard the commotion and when I got to the coop all 4 other hens were at the door screaming to get out and away from the intruder!
     
  2. hwerner

    hwerner Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 28, 2008
    Independence, KS
    I normally wait until the chicks are about 3-4 months old before putting them in with older chickens so that they can defend themselves a bit better. That pecking order can be a rough situation for a chick. I'm lucky though, because I have a complete seperate building for borrodies, chicks, and injured, so they can still see everyone else. After a few weeks, I open up the baby/injury pen and let them free range with everyone else undersupervision. When all is going well, usually about 3 months or so, I move everybody to the big Coop and pen.
     
  3. SoCal-chick

    SoCal-chick Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 17, 2007
    San Diego
    Thanks, would I be safe to let them mingle in the pen during the day before 3 mos. assuming the mom would protect them? I live in the suburbs with a neighbor dog that would love chicken for dinner so free-ranging is not an option. They have only chicken wire between them and are used to seeing each other.
     
  4. hwerner

    hwerner Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 28, 2008
    Independence, KS
    Quote:They would probably be okay with their mamma out with them, but I would monitor them pretty closely the first few times just to make sure.
     

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