When to let hen n chicks out, enough space?

Aug 18, 2019
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Ok, so I have a Silkie hen and 7 chicks in a sheltered coop/run area of about 3.5metres by 1.5m. Their area is fenced off within the main coop area. Chicks are 1.5 weeks old now, how much longer can I keep them in their little area?
If I let them out they will be with all my other (Silkie) chickens - which is fine because mother hen will protect them, but I'm worried about disease (like cocci) because I'm not with them all day to scoop poop as soon as its dropped!
So how long can they be restricted to their little area?
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DobieLover

Easily distracted by chickens
Premium Feather Member
Jul 23, 2018
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My Coop
My Coop
Ok, so I have a Silkie hen and 7 chicks in a sheltered coop/run area of about 3.5metres by 1.5m. Their area is fenced off within the main coop area. Chicks are 1.5 weeks old now, how much longer can I keep them in their little area?
If I let them out they will be with all my other (Silkie) chickens - which is fine because mother hen will protect them, but I'm worried about disease (like cocci) because I'm not with them all day to scoop poop as soon as its dropped!
So how long can they be restricted to their little area?
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I don't intentionally restrict a broody hen and her chicks to a specific area. I allow and encourage the mother to take her brood out when she is ready. The door remains open to the maternity ward allowing her to leave and others to enter the day after hatch. When the mother left had a lot to do with brood size, her ranking in the flock prior to becoming broody and ambient temperatures.
I say open her enclosure and let her decide.
I've also never had a case of coccidiosis in broody hatched chicks. You can keep an eye on them and put out Corid water if they do get sick but you would likely have to confine the mother with her brood again if that happens.
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
12 Years
Feb 2, 2009
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If you have cocci in your flock the broody has it and has already exposed the chicks. To me that is a positive. The chicks are already working on immunity to cocci. If they stay in pretty dry conditions they should have that immunity within another couple of weeks or less.

To me that is a big advantage of broody hens, their chicks are exposed to whatever is in the flock so they can get started on flock immunities. The hen passes on some probiotics too. That strengthens their immune system. I can't think of a healthier way to start.

You can keep them restricted as long as you wish. Personally mine are hatched with the flock and raised with the flock.
 
Aug 18, 2019
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I did have another coop with larger grassy area I had hen and chicks in last time but that's since been taken over by a cockerel and a couple pullets :lol: ..
So if that current space is fine to keep them in for another week or so I'll keep them restricted for now, there are too many dangers outside when they are so little! My fencing between other areas is the larger hole wire so chicks can easily escape and mother hen can't follow. I might have to upgrade some fencing before I let them out or they might visit the cockerel and pullets next door or sneak into my veggie garden! :lol:
 
Aug 18, 2019
1,727
4,503
401
Australia
I let mumma hen and chicks out of their coop area this arvo for a few hours, all went well :) The chicks go quite a distance from mumma hen at times which makes me nervous.
And it's strange, I thought chicks need constant warmth but mine hardly ever go under hen especially after a week old.
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