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when to separate broody hen and her chicks

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by cptbahama, Jul 6, 2013.

  1. mithious

    mithious Chillin' With My Peeps

    Yup, same here. Hopefully next year I will have atleast one broody Hen and can let them do as mother nature designed them to do! Chickens have been hatching and raising chicks for thousands of years and know wayyy more than I do about it. Will gladly hand over that responsibility to Mama Hen [​IMG] I am raising 15 hatchery chicks that are two weeks old tomorrow and they have not had a light and are sleeping through the night, last night and tonight, just fine! It is summer and the temps are way up there, even up north here and everyone is doing just great!

    The coop should be finished tomorrow and they will go to their new house as soon as possible...possibly with a red heat lamp if it is too cool in the coop...although they are feathering out nicely and may not need it..will be checking on them for the first few nights to make sure though!!!! Have alarm clock, flashlight, and thermometer ready for their move to their permanent house [​IMG] and will check on them hourly for a few nights to see how they are settling. I think they will do fine though!
     
  2. Sakmeht

    Sakmeht Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I just had a first time broody that hatched out 4 babies. I kept her and them in the garden, but they could see the rest of the flock. After about 2 weeks or so I started supervising mingled outings and all was well. Now the whole flock has access to each other. The mama still sits with them in the garden at night, but she's been doing very well defending them and looking intimidating to the other hens. But really, there's almost no need. The other hens pretty much ignore the babies. I believe you can feed "All-flock" to your hens and chicks. It's safe for chicks and you can supplement oyster shell for the adults since I believe All-Flock is lower in the calcium you want for laying hens than regular laying pellets. That's what I did with last years crop of chicks and the adults continued laying just fine.
     
  3. WalkingOnSunshine

    WalkingOnSunshine Overrun With Chickens

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    Lots of people do it that way, feeding Flock Raiser or All Flock with calcium on the side. For us, Flock Raiser is $3 more a bag than high-protein layer, so we buy starter for the chicks and get them and Mama used to eating from the feeder for the first week. Then, when we move them to the pasture, we put the feeder and a waterer just outside the pasture fence. The chicks can get through the fence, the adult birds cannot. Mama practically forces them outside of the fence to get their food, while she waits. That way, the chicks get the feed they need and I can feed the less expensive feed to the layers.
     
  4. cptbahama

    cptbahama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    augusta, georgia
    But how do you keep the chicks from eating the layer feed and the hens from eating the chick starter feed?
     
  5. ken-t

    ken-t Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 6, 2013
    firsr of all what works for you? I let mine free range, so when a hen go's broody I build a nest box in another shed where she'll be safe. Give her feed and water handy and move her under the cover of night. This keeps the other hens from laying in her nest. and as they free range she'll (the hen) will introduce the chicks into the flock when she's ready. I move her as soon as I see she's broody. alot of times they'll hide their oun nest a week or so before she goes broody. As far as being bad mothers sometimes they just need to learn to be mothers. most Turkeys need to learn to be good mothers too. let nature run her corse.
     
  6. MrsBachbach

    MrsBachbach Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have to disagree with you. I have broodys every year. I have seen some broodys get the poop beat out of them. I really felt sorry for them. She was not the largest hen and wasn't at the top of the pecking order, broody or not. She couldn't defend her chicks so I put her and her chicks in a separate, safer pen. I thought she would be able to handle her chicks and the flock fine, but it just wasn't the case. The flock even free ranges, but they still attacked her. Poor thing. The chicks were running everywhere looking for a place to hide.
     
  7. laurabr

    laurabr New Egg

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    Mar 30, 2013
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    Our chick is 4 weeks old and is with the broody hen in a separate enclosure, side by side with the rest of the flock. They can all see each other. From reading this thread, it would seem we should let the hen and chick join the flock now, rather than waiting until the chick is older. Another thread on introducing chicks to the flock said to wait until the chick is 16 weeks old and doesn't chirp like a chick. We have 8 hens total and 1 rooster. They roam in a large fenced in area during the day -- probably a 1/3 acre.
     
  8. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    It's my understanding - and practice - broody hatched and hen raised chicks enter general population when their mommas bring them out of the nest, generally when the chicks are about two to three days old. They may not leave the coop for a while, but I don't sequester them. Incubated and hatched or chicks purchased from hatcheries/feed stores are The Motherless Chicks and those should be raised in separation/integration until they are closer to the older birds, generally 12 weeks or so. No Mommas to protect them when they're little. For me, if a chick has got a willing and protective momma to raise it, then it's up to the hen to teach it to be a better chicken citizen than any I can or have raised. No momma? Then I just provide security, nutritional needs and some measure of affection. So I think that might explain the disparity in chick raising timeline recommendations.
     
  9. WalkingOnSunshine

    WalkingOnSunshine Overrun With Chickens

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    I have a chicken pasture with 4" holes, so chicks slip in and out easily and the hens can't get through. I just put my feeder on the other side of the fence. You can also make a creep feeder by bending a piece of fencing with 4" holes into a circle and putting your feeder into that so the chicks can get in and the hens can't.

    The chicks will eat some layer feed as they grow, but much prefer the chick starter, so they eat more of that. It's not a perfect system, but a lot cheaper for us than feeding the whole flock Flock Raiser.

    Exactly right--chicks with Mama Hen get introduced to the flock very young, at a week old or less. Chicks that are purchased as day-olds or hatched in an incubator, I wait until 18 weeks of age.

    These birds seem more like special cases than the general rule. I've had special cases, too--broodies that didn't care for chicks well, etc--that had to be pulled out of the flock, too. But as a general practice, I'd say broodies and their chicks should be introduced to the flock sooner rather than later.
     
  10. gander111

    gander111 Out Of The Brooder

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    Ok, so I had a broody hen and I gave her two chicks to raise. At about four weeks I introduced her back t the flock and everyone has ben picking on her.It's been four weeks since i put her back with my flock including one rooster, the hens no longer pick on her, but my rooster mates with her ALL the time and has pulled all the feathers from the back of her head nd she still sleeps on a separate roost from the rest. Now I will need to introduce the chicks to the flock, but I'm scared they will b hurt. How old should they be? Sould I remove my rooster first? AARRGGHH! Help!
     

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