Where do you keep newly hatched chicks and their MOM?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by sandy sea, May 19, 2009.

  1. sandy sea

    sandy sea Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 19, 2008
    Gavilan Hills, CA
    I would like to know where you keep your newly hatched chicks and the broody Hen? I had a baby gate in front of the two nest boxes when the hens were sitting, but now the chicks are 3 days old and one of the Hens are done sitting. Do you just leave the Hen and chicks where they were hatched or do you move them to a separate area in the coop?
  2. flakey chick

    flakey chick Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 3, 2007
    I tried leaving them in the nest box, but a flock mate grabbed one and flung it. Then I moved them inside in a large dog crate.
  3. sandy sea

    sandy sea Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 19, 2008
    Gavilan Hills, CA
    How long did you keep them in the dog crate?
  4. flakey chick

    flakey chick Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 3, 2007
    Until she told me she wanted out. They were in the crate for about 2 weeks, but I let them out for about 1 hour every day. Then I enlarged their area with a rabbit cage. I put them together with both doors open. The day she laid an egg was when I knew it was time to rejoin the flock. I'd say that was 3-4 weeks.
  5. Fowl Visions

    Fowl Visions Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 15, 2009
    Keystone Heights, FL
    I moved the mother hen and eggs before they hatched to a separate cage. I have done it differently in the past and just left her in the coop until after they hatched. I find it easier to move her in the beginning.
  6. kristenm1975

    kristenm1975 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 23, 2008
    Seattle, WA
    Yes please, anyone who has pictures of where they put the hen and her chicks to separate them from the flock, please post. I have a hen sitting on 11 eggs that are due to hatch out on the 27th and want them to have a place of their own. If I was going to be around all the time, I'd probably leave them in there to see what happens and make sure they're safe, but as luck would have it, I work that day.

    Love to see your solution to this problem!
  7. sadie423

    sadie423 Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 16, 2008
    This is our set up for our broodies....we had the first hatch yesterday...


    I was concerned about separating the 2 broodies after hatch, but one turned out to be a bad mom, killing one chick, so I just gave all the chicks (3 (living) so far, with 2 eggs left) to the good mom and took the bad one out and put her back in the hen house. The "yard" is 3' x 3' x 6 ft and the little shelter are two 2x 2 x 4 spots...I wasn't sure when to introduce them back into the house....I would like to do it while the mom is still protective....we are trying to get 6 wk old chicks into the flock and it isn't going so well.

  8. RubberChickenLubber

    RubberChickenLubber Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 19, 2007
    Newton, NC
    I had one hen that hatched eggs in the coop where the other chickens were, and there were no problems. I have my current broodies in a doghouse style shelter inside a dog kennel with rabbit wire lining the bottom so the chicks can't get out when they hatch. I have eggs ordered for both hens and hope to set them the same day. These hens coparented the chicks that hatched last year, so I'm curious how it will go with both having clutches at the same time. I think they will do great together.
  9. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Last year my broody hatched and raised a chick in the coop with the others. Two other hens helped set on the eggs and raise the chick.
  10. barbara4rb

    barbara4rb Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 22, 2007
    Albuquerque, NM
    I currently have 3 "chicken jails" out in the yard. Two have hens with their chicks, and the third has my 4 orphaned chicks. The momma hen died (found her dead) when the chicks where 2 weeks old.

    Each "jail" is completely screened in with a chicken wire "skirt" so no critter can dig under. They are on grass--but by now, the two sets of chicks are 30 days old, and the grass is scratched down to dirt. Each has a wooden nest box, waterer, and partially covered so there is always shade. I give treats on paper plates and have all the other food tossed in. The jails are 8' x 8', 8'x6' and 8' x 4'. The orphans are in the 8x4. I wonder if it is too small and somehow stressed out the momma hen. Have no idea what killed her. I have another hen sitting on eggs in a nest box, and those kids are due in two weeks. Guess I will construct another jail if the time comes.

    My 8x8 jail was originally a big dog pen that was built with 2x8 pig fencing and I wrapped it in chicken wire. Here is a pic of it from last year.


    The 8x4 is an extension to one side of the 8x8. The 8x6 I built using 2x4's and followed the chicken tractor on this link.


    My birds are free range, but in the last 2 years (only owned the property 2.5 years) I lost so many mommas/kids to raccoons and roadrunners and hawks, that decided I'd "jail" the little families until the kids were nearly full grown. I have several nest boxes secured at 4 to 5 feet off the ground so the hens can sit safely. When the chicks hatch out, I move the family+nest box into a jail.

    In the jails, when the kids are around 2 weeks old, I place the nest box up on crates and add ramps. Then at 4 weeks, I add some tree limbs in the jails and find the chicks are always busy flying up/climbing, etc. Around 8 weeks, I'll let them out supervised. Soon then, I'll open the tops so if they can fly/jump/climb up the limbs, they'll hopefully follow all the big chickens and and go up in the trees. That's the dicey part of the whole thing. At least they'll be 2+ months old and be physically able to get themselves in the trees. By then the mommas will be cutting the kids loose too. The jails are right by the roosting tree so they can see everyone heading up the tree to bed at night.

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