Will mom reintroduce her babies to the flock?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by okiegirl, Nov 8, 2011.

  1. okiegirl

    okiegirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 25, 2009
    I had three chicks hatch yesterday. I separated them from the flock because my nests sit off the ground and if the babies hatched in the nest the would have no access to food and water and if they fell out they could get hurt.
    So I took mom and eggs to our hot tub room and put them in a very large dog crate. So they could hatch safely. So now we have babies.

    If I leave them in the crate until this week-end (it's supposed to be in the 70's) and open the hot tub room to the back yard, I'm sure she will lead them outside. Will she take them back to the coop, back to the hot tub room or just hide under a bush?

    I'm just not sure if she will introduce them to the coop or if being away from the flock for almost a week will change her position within the flock and it would be best to wait until spring to reintroduce all of them.
  2. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    I let mine raise their chicks in the flock so I don't have to grow them out separately (after 4 or 6 weeks, when mama is through with them) and go through introduction later. All she needs is a little pile of hay to cover them on. If you just turn her loose from where they are, there's no telling where she will decide to sleep.

    BTW, chicks usually do fine jumping down out of high nests; mamas have raised many a clutch in a hay loft. Problem comes in getting back up. Mine just nest on the floor, usually in a corner on a pile of hay. Often the mama just covers them wherever they gather.
  3. okiegirl

    okiegirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 25, 2009
    ok, so maybe I should get the coop ready for the transfer.
    thank you!
  4. kelidei

    kelidei ~*Dances with chickens*~

    Mar 18, 2009
    Northern Illinois
    I was very nervous about this issue myself. I always hatched eggs in an incubator... then I got Silkies you can't stop them from going broody!!! So a few months ago I let two pullets each hatch a small clutch of eggs.... the mamas did great and the chicks thrived... it was so cute watching the mamas with their babies... and not going through the brooder stage made everything a breeze!!! [​IMG]
  5. Sjisty

    Sjisty Scribe of Brahmalot

    May 18, 2009
    I have always been afraid of chicks falling, so when they are finished hatching, I usually set up an open cat litter box full of hay on the floor of the coop for mamma and babies. She protects them from the other chickens and by the time she is done with them, they are established members of the flock.
  6. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    I also let my broodies raise them with the flock. Once Mama brings them off the nest, I put them in a pen for a couple of days, just so the chicks can learn to eat and drink without interference from the older hens, then let them loose. Usually Mama takes them back to that pen the first night, but I move them to the coop after dark. Usually, after that, she just takes them to the coop and keeps them there at night.

    Usually she takes them to a corner of the coop and keeps them there. Sometimes she takes them up to a nest, maybe 14" off the ground. Most of the chicks can get up there on their own when she wants them in a nest, but I always check to see where they are sleeping and if they need any help. Sometimes, for one or two nights, I might have to help.

    Each broody is different, but usually Mama has such a bad attitude toward any chicken that dares mess with her chicks that they quickly learn to leave the chicks alone.

    I've also seen broodies get their chicks out of a 10' high hay loft. Mama says jump and they do. Lower down is better, but after seeing that, I don't freak about them jumping down from a nest.

    After Mama weans them, they will be members of the flock, but they will be at the bottom of the pecking order. They will try to avoid the other hens and will get picked on if they try to mingle too closely. Chicks have gone through this with flocks for thousands of years. No matter which way you go, you have some risks and sometimes bad things happen. But usually it goes pretty well.

    Good luck!
  7. okiegirl

    okiegirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 25, 2009
    ok, I've moved them back to the coop. She was NOT happy. I gathered a bunch of hay from the crate and made a nice little pile with a hole in the middle. I put the babies in the middle and she ran over and sat on them. I put the chick feeder and waterer near so hopefully all will go well. I just have to let nature take it's course. I really think I've done all I can to help.
  8. turbodog

    turbodog Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 21, 2010
    Independence, La.
    Sounds like you've done what you can. The rest is up to them. As Ridgerunner said, chickens have been doing this for thousands of years, so I'm sure it'll work out fine in the end.

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