Young flock with a broody and her chicks

wemimew

Songster
Apr 17, 2019
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I have 12 silkies (2 roos to go down to one if there are issues) all under 8mths of age, my youngest 5 (inc Roos) being 5 months. 4 of my ladies are laying and 2.5 of them are broody (.5 is a special girl). I think I got a bit excited with my first broodies and purchased 8 eggs and let the other one sit on 5 of my own. I am now questioning if I should leave the chicks with the hens or raise them myself. There is still quite a bit of squabbling with my flock as they were all introduced a couple of months ago and still sorting things out here and there (in hindsight I should of waited longer to hatch some chicks). Some of my chooks are pretty rough/clumsy/dumb for silkies and I am not sure how the chicks would go with the flock. There is more than enough room for everyone but still manage to squabble.
How can I expect this to turn out by keeping them in there (mums and bubs will be in the shed for a week or two before going back). Has anyone ever lost chicks in a run with an establishing pecking order? Will my teenage Roos be a problem? Both of the broodies are the alpha and beta girls of the flock so I am hoping that will be enough of a deterrent.
I am more than happy to raise them myself if it will keep them safer but don’t want to hurt the mums by taking their babies from them.
 

sumi

Rest in Peace 1980-2020
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Jun 28, 2011
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I've done both, let moms raise their chicks with the flock and separate. It really depends on your flock and how they handle the newbies, so I'd suggest when introducing them, keep an eye on them for awhile. See how the flock reacts to the chicks and the broody mom. If they go after the chicks, see about separating mom and the chicks for awhile (I'd recommend about 5-6 weeks). In my flocks I've had some awesome experiences with moms raising their chicks with the flock and I've had the odd incident where chicks were attacked and killed, but the majority of the time was good.

Best of luck!
 

slordaz

hatchaholic
5 Years
Apr 15, 2015
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they should be fine , a broody raised chick is usually integrated by mom, some things to consider though before making a decision. Roosters are even smart enough to leave a broody hen with chicks alone because she will seriously kick some ass on anyone that approaches the chicks as a threat, she will usually be tolerant of a light peck from flock mates once they are big enough as she pecking order is established. Chicks broody raised you don't need to be constantly fussy over them, mom teaches them just fine. your set up and philosophy and your flock dynamics can vary from others so ultimately you have to make the decisions.
I personally had brooding boxes they could easily defend inside the coop where I could lock it down and would let the momma and babies out when mom got off the nest and started teaching her babies. I didn't have any issues with the rooster or the other hens with chicks a day old being out with them as they knew they were there, rooster accepted protecting momma and his new charges easily. My concern would be more the young cockerels that don't have the maturity and raging hormones, you might want to put them in a bachelor pad for a bit just to give the hens a break and as cockerels can be unpredictable protection for the new chicks
 

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