Will Hen protect chicks?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by cochinfan, Jun 13, 2011.

  1. cochinfan

    cochinfan Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 5, 2009
    I have 2 hens that have 2 babies each so far. They are both setting on more eggs but I may only give them another day or so before we all give up on the eggs. I didn't really plan for this so right now the hens and chicks are each in plastic dog crates. I'd like to get them integrated with the flock. Is it probable that the hens will look out for their chicks and that this will work out? How old should the chicks be before I let them out. I was thinking I would leave the dog crates open and let the hens decide to come out on their own after a certain number of days. The crates are in the coop.

    thanks!
     
  2. AKsmama

    AKsmama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 20, 2010
    South Carolina
    With our broodies, we move them from the nest box to a broody box in the coop after all the eggs (that are going to hatch) have hatched. It's open so she decides when to take them out. Generally they stay in the box a day or so after the hatch, then bring them out into the coop to scratch around for a couple of days. After that, they stick close to the coop but do venture outside. We let the mama do all the work, but we keep an eye peeled and make sure no chicks are being rejected. We've had 2 broodies so far since late April and have one more sitting on 4 eggs, and every mama has been fierce in protecting her babies. None of our flock has been deliberately mean, thank goodness, but even if they are foraging too close they get walloped by the mama. Personally, I would do it as you stated in your post- leave the crates open and let them decide, but do try to watch and make sure everyone is getting along. My experience is different because I've never had 2 with chicks at the same time.

    I have a batch of 5 chicks that are about almost 8 weeks old. Their mama stopped mothering them a couple of weeks ago and they have done pretty well. I left them in the coop and with the flock so I wouldn't have to do the integration, and so far it's ok. Not to say they don't get pecked by the adults, especially at night when trying to roost, but they're figuring it out and no one is being anything other than I expected. They have to learn the rules of the flock, and as long as no one is getting injured, I leave them to it.
     
  3. TGreenhut

    TGreenhut Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 17, 2010
    Northern, CA
    I agree with AKsmama, but be careful to watch both mama hens because it is possible that they will try to kill eachother's chicks.
     

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