When to let hen with chicks back in with the rest?


10 Years
May 15, 2009
Shenandoah Valley
I have a hen who was broody and hatched three chicks. The chicks are about two weeks old now and she is in our chicken tractor with them. Any ideas???? I don't want to do it too soon, but if it would be better now, I would go ahead and do it. She is VEEERRYYY protective of them. We have a 6 week old kitten that she would have killed if she could the other day. He was simply checking out the chicken tractor with us there...and she went bonkers...

HorseFeatherz NV

Eggink Chickens
10 Years
May 12, 2009
Sierra Foothills of Reno, NV
Wait until the chicks are older. If you can move the tractor, move it to where the flock can see mom and babies but the family is still protected. I do not like to mix the chicks with the flock until they are older and the babies are ready, sometimes mom has even left the chicks by the time I introduce the chicks.

Some chickens are good with young chicks - some are not and will kill them. Mom cannot protect the chicks from the flock if the flock decides the chicks look like tasty snacks.


13 Years
Jun 21, 2009
I waited until they were nearly full grown and they didn't hang out at first- there was some hen pecking and some pecking order establishing. It took a while and before long they were all one big group.


10 Years
Sep 9, 2009
Olympia, WA
If you have ample space in the run or they free range I would do it now. I don't introduce chicks I've brooded until they are around 12 weeks old, but I like to put the ones that have a mamma in sooner while she is still feeling protective. If you have lots of other chooks or space is tight you do run the risk of one or more of the chicks getting seperated from mom and pecked badly (even to the point of death) but in my experience mom will "take care of business" as long as she has enough room and not too many other chicks get ornery at once.

Take a look at your set up and evaluate your birds aggresion level and then if you "think" it will be ok go ahead and put them together, but be sure to do it when you can spend some time watching. If you see excesive aggresion or targeting of the chicks remove the family and try again when everyone is older. I haven't had a problem, but I free range and they have plenty of room. Good luck.

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