When is Mama ready to leave babies and brooder??

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by smcdermott, Dec 7, 2015.

  1. smcdermott

    smcdermott Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I had a broody hatch some "surprise" eggs about 2 1/2 weeks ago. 15 total made it. She has been a WONDERFUL mother and I couldn't be prouder. I decided to put her and the babies in a cage within the run/coop and it has worked well. Being that the chicks have been exposed to the weather and elements, they are developing their feathers quickly but still snuggle under Mom at night.

    >>>My problem is ... I noticed this morning that the babies seem to be getting on her nerves now and she all of the sudden wants out of the cage badly. Running up and down it like crazy. Should I let her out and see if she still let's the babies follow her and her take care of them outside??? Leave her in another week or so? I am scared that it is too soon for her to leave the babies completely. What if she gets put and is just done with them? I am thinking they will need a heat lamp at night.
    I AM NON CENTRAL FL so it isn't freezing
     
  2. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    They were probably ready to be let out a week ago. Her chicks will likely spend time away from her, but come back to warm up. Her chicks will follow her around.
     
  3. mymilliefleur

    mymilliefleur Keeper of the Flock

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    Maybe I miss read your post, but how come you have them in the cage? She probably wants out so that she can forage for her chicks like her instincts are tell her. I would go ahead and let them out, and just keep an eye on her. When the chicks are old enough to be on their own, than she will leave them.
     
  4. smcdermott

    smcdermott Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I let my girls free range and everyone on here said that unless I was going to put my entire flock on starter feed, it would be easier to put Mama and her chicks in a separate area....... when I say cage, it is really a small pen in the corner of our run. I will open her door while she is sleeping tonight so she can freely exit in the morning when she wakes up. I am so nervous/excited now about how it will go. This is my first time having babies and letting nature take it's course. I am assuming that they will follow her and she will show them what to do???????? Luckily for her and the babies our dog killed our Hawk problem last week and we haven't had another one more into his territory yet that I know of.
     
  5. Folly's place

    Folly's place Overrun With Chickens

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    I let my broodies and their chicks out of their cage when the chicks are four to six days old, and it works out fine. I do feed Flock Raiser rather than layena, while they are growing up. Predators are a real problem, especially for the little ones and bantams. Mary
     
  6. song of joy

    song of joy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I let my broody hen integrate her chicks into the flock when the chicks are about 4 to 5 days old. At that point, she's super-protective of them, so all of the flock members learn very quickly that they have to respect the hen and her chicks. I make sure everyone has access to flock raiser crumbles (20% protein), as this is suitable for the chicks, non-laying hens, laying hens and roosters. It's helpful to have multiple feeders available within the coop, with at least one or two on the floor for the chicks to access.

    If your chicks are 2 1/2 weeks old, the hen will probably continue to mother them for a few more weeks. Just keep an eye on things when you first let her mingle with the rest of the flock. It helps if there's lots of room available. Also, 15 chicks are a lot for a mother hen to keep track of, so those chicks who don't stick with mom may be vulnerable to other flock members and to predators. Usually the mother hen will protect her chicks and make sure other flock members give her and her chicks a wide berth and lots of respect. But each flock is unique, so it's a good idea to observe them, especially during the initial integration.

    Best of luck to you!
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2015
  7. smcdermott

    smcdermott Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks everyone. I went ahead and let them out this afternoon while all my kids were home and could help me watch them. I am always amazed at how resourceful and resilient these wonderful animals are.
    She managed to keep track of all her babies, set 2 hens straight that got too close and then went right back into their little "pen" when it was bed time and snuggle everyone in.
    LOVE IT!
    Thanks again everyone.
    The babies can't reach the adult layered hanging feeder so I will leave their starter feed in their cage for them.
     
  8. smcdermott

    smcdermott Chillin' With My Peeps

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  9. madeintexas806

    madeintexas806 Out Of The Brooder

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    I have 10 7 week old female Ameracauna chicks that are fully feathered. I only have one coop/run with a rooster in it to put them in. My question is will he kill them? I need to get them out of my house because they are stinking to high heaven. But I am scared they wont know anything beings they were bought from a hatchery. And that it is winter here and the nights are as low as in the 30's. Any advice?
     
  10. smcdermott

    smcdermott Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am not sure. Maybe one of the more experienced people will chime in. I would think it would be fine. His job is to protect his flock, so I would think they would be ok. I have put young ones in that were not laying yet with my roo and they were fine.
     

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