When to introduce a broody and her chicks?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by wornoutmomto3, Feb 15, 2015.

  1. wornoutmomto3

    wornoutmomto3 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a broody hen raising four chicks. She and the chicks are separated from the main flock. How long should I keep them separate? What is the best way to reintroduce her and chicks back into the flock?
     
  2. Folly's place

    Folly's place Chicken Obsessed

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    My broodies are in a big dog airline crate in the coop the whole time, so after the chicks are about a week old, I just open the cage door while the flock is let out of the coop, and things go very well. I do watch for a while, and lock the mom and chicks back in the crate at night, until she decides to settle in elsewhere. Mary
     
  3. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

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    Similar approach here - though minus the dog crate, have had them just hatch them out in the regular nest boxes - so much easier than dealing with separation and re-integration.
    That being said, OP, for your situation you'll need to approach this as a normal integration situation. How separate are the broody and chicks? Are they able to be seen by the rest of the flock - such as in a temporarily sectioned off area of the coop/run - or are they entirely removed?
     
  4. wornoutmomto3

    wornoutmomto3 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a small coop that won't feasibly contain the dog crate I have. Also, I need it to crate my dog at night. I do have a integration/reintegration/brooder-box as a built in part of the brooder, but the night temps have been near freezing. Also the coop location doesn't get as much sun as I would like to warm up enough during the day. The location was chosen based up Florida's opressively hot summers.

    The hen is entirely separated. The night temperatures have been dropping near freezing and I didn't want her and the chicks to suffer in a cold coop. The afternoons have been quite comfortable, but she is too skittish to return to the warm "greenhouse" at night. Also, the main flock free-ranges during the day.

    Maybe I could set up a little run for her and the chicks during the day, to be near the flock, and back in the warm "greenhouse" at night?
     
  5. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

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    Food for thought for any future hatches regarding your concern about the warmth of the coop:

    The wonderful thing about broody raised chicks is that, with a good broody, the concern about having it be "warm enough" is a moot point - the broody IS your heat source. Our last batch hatched at the end of October and were raised in the main coop under the care of mama with no issues - I've had broodies raising chicks in the deep of winter in unwired/unheated coops (as mine have always been) with no issue. If/when they get chilly, the chicks duck under the broody for a quick warm up and they are good to go.
     
  6. wornoutmomto3

    wornoutmomto3 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I will keep that in mind for next time. I have heard of hens abandoning the nest, especially when roosters are present. This hen is young, skittish, and this is her first brood. Also, I am a bit of a worrier and just wanted everything to go right.
     
  7. wornoutmomto3

    wornoutmomto3 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Now I am worried.
    I followed everyones' recommendation and moved the hen and her chicks into the attached brooder box in the coop. Everything seemed to go well. One of the other hens sat down on the other side to keep her and the chicks company. A few hours later I went to check on them and the brooding hen layed an egg.
    I know it takes about 26 hours for egg production. Does the appearance of this egg signal trouble for the chicks? Will she possibly abandon them? Does a hen continue laying eggs when raising chicks?
    :confused:
     
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    How old are the chicks(maybe I missed that)?
    Are you sure it was the broody that laid and not her new companion?
     
  9. wornoutmomto3

    wornoutmomto3 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am sure it was her. There is a dividing screen between her and the rest of the flock. They can not get in and she can not get out. The chicks are only a few days old. They hatched Thursday and Friday.
     
  10. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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