Will my broody hen protect her chicks from flock?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by gabby3535, May 22, 2010.

  1. gabby3535

    gabby3535 Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have a very broody Ameraucana hen who is sitting on 2 fertile hatching eggs (I don't have a roo!) I'm wondering when the chicks hatch, will the mama hen protect her chicks from the rest of my little flock?
    Some people say mama and chicks can be left in the coop with the others (all of them have free access to a huge run),
    but then I hear the others will peck and kill the chicks!
    Best advice please?
    Also, if you advise to put chicks in a brooder (box with heat lamp)
    do I put mama 'with' them, or remove them from her?
    How about a wire dog ex-pen on the coop floor, covered with screening so the others can't get to the chicks?
    I could cover it with screening, provide both starter feed and water for mama & babies.....the others could 'see' them, but not get to them.
    For how long would such a set up be needed? When could everyone be allowed to
    be together?
    Thanks for any thoughts/advice!
     
  2. okiehen

    okiehen Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 25, 2007
    Oklahoma
    Best advice please? Move her to her own brood coop
    Also, if you advise to put chicks in a brooder (box with heat lamp) no need if the hen is a good mom
    do I put mama 'with' them, or remove them from her? I would let her raise them makes for better chickens
    How about a wire dog ex-pen on the coop floor, covered with screening so the others can't get to the chicks? would work
    I could cover it with screening, provide both starter feed and water for mama & babies.....the others could 'see' them, but not get to them.
    For how long would such a set up be needed? the hen will raise the chicks to 4 to 6 weeks some hens stay longer
    When could everyone be allowed to
    be together? when the chicks are close to the same size as your smallest hen 18 weeks
     
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    Chickens have been raising chicks with the flock for thousands of years. There are risks and benefits both ways. Bad things can happen, but I think having Mama take care of the integration issues is worth the risk, even without the other benefits. Sounds like you have adequate space, so I think you could legitimately choose either way. This thread might hep you reach your decision.

    Raise with flock? thread
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=215937&p=1
     
  4. gabby3535

    gabby3535 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Bump.....
     
  5. Kramsharp

    Kramsharp Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 17, 2012
    Yes she will for the first few weeks, mummy will tend to leave them about 6-8 weeks,
    As long as she and the chicks have plenty of room away from the main flock and somewhere safe to bolt to it should be ok.
    However and it's a big however prepared to lose some chick, undoubtedly one or two will stray into the main flock and could be hurt or even worse killed especially if they are cornered, and it's not just the flock you need to worry about, rats, ferrets, pole cats, gulls, rooks, magpies etc will all kill baby chicks.

    I personally wouldn't risk it I would separate her to another coop until 8 weeks, put her back in the flock and leave the chicks in the separate coop until 12-18 weeks before introducing to the rest of the flock.

    In my main run where the flock is I have a broody coop with its own run, this helps merging them into the flock later as your other hens see them on a regular basis and don't see them as strangers, this also helps mummy to re enter the flock too.
     

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