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Author Topic: When does hen need to leave her chicks?  (Read 4165 times)

Offline twb

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When does hen need to leave her chicks?
« on: December 03, 2008, 08:14:29 PM »
Today, seven weeks after chicks hatched, mama laid an egg.  That makes me want her back with the adults so I snuck her in there and she and the chicks wanted to be together so I put them together again.  Will it be obvious when it is time for her to go?  I tried to integrate all adults and chicks a couple days ago and the other hens did fine with the chicks but they(one in particular) really beeked "mama" in the head and she did not fight back.  These chickens have never shown agression before either.  Is it best for me to ween the chicks of mama "cold turkey(chicken :))? 
"Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones."  Proverbs 16:24

Sincerely,
TWB

Offline reinbeau

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Re: When does hen need to leave her chicks?
« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2008, 08:29:29 PM »
From what I've read mamma will be booting those chicks soon.  I think it's best to let nature take her course there.  It won't be long now, usually between six and eight weeks old.

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Offline twb

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Re: When does hen need to leave her chicks?
« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2008, 08:53:04 PM »
From what I've read mamma will be booting those chicks soon.  I think it's best to let nature take her course there.  It won't be long now, usually between six and eight weeks old.

She did go after a chick today, chasing it away from some food I think.  But, she and the chicks are all penned in together and are sharing the brooding hutch so they can all see the adult chickens(in the run area) but are separated by chicken wire.
"Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones."  Proverbs 16:24

Sincerely,
TWB

Offline Cindi

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Re: When does hen need to leave her chicks?
« Reply #3 on: December 06, 2008, 08:58:15 PM »
Twb.  Has your question been answered well enough?  I just noticed this thread now.

I have found that around 6 weeks of age, the mother just slowly does not have too much to do with the chicks.  She stops the brawk brawk sound that she always makes to the chics and reverts back to the adult hen sounds. I would let nature take its course and just put them all together with the adults.  I brought one of my mother hens to the main area when the chicks were about 4 weeks old, they seemed to get along OK with everyone else.  And she basically, just eventually, ignored them, and they ignored her.  Have a wonderful and awesome life and day, great health.  Cindi
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Offline twb

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Re: When does hen need to leave her chicks?
« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2008, 09:18:49 PM »
Twb.  Has your question been answered well enough?  I just noticed this thread now.



Thankyou, yes, nature has been working.  Yesterday, when I lifted the top off the brooder hutch, mama chicken wanted out in the worst way so I slipped her into the adult hutch.  It was dusk then, and she did not complain.  Today was her first day there and I was gone all day.  I peeked at the chicks tonight and they were using their new perch and seemed to be happy without "mamma".

I would love to integrate them all together but then how do you feed grower mix to the chicks without the adults eating it too? Or do you just let them all eat the same thing at this point and not worry about it? It would be great not to have to deal with two hutches any more. The chicks would have to learn fast that they need to go into the adult hutch since our high temps are well below freezing lately and into the forseeable future :). (Ice fishing by Christmas?  I hope I hope :))
"Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones."  Proverbs 16:24

Sincerely,
TWB

Offline Cindi

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Re: When does hen need to leave her chicks?
« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2008, 10:03:28 AM »
Twb, just throw them all together, I know two pens can be a bummer and they can keep warmer with the numbers.

About the food.  The chicks will get used to the adult food.  I have the chicks from Brian's incubated eggs that have been with the big chickens now for a couple of weeks.  The big chickens get 16% layer pellets.  That is what everyone gets.  The chicks are still mostly hanging out inside the chicken house, which is very large.  When I go out there (several times a day), I give them some grower crumbles.  They gobble it up, they prefer it to the layer pellets, so I treat them.  If I don't get a chance to get out there, they have to eat the pellets.  They have to just suck that up.  They are old enough to eat anything, and they have to learn to munch 100% on what the other birds are eating.  If I were you, I would just throw them in with the big ones, they will eat whatever they can to fill up, hee, hee.  Have a wonderful and awesomely great day, health.  Cindi
There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service

Offline reinbeau

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Re: When does hen need to leave her chicks?
« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2008, 10:30:29 AM »
I can get layer crumbles, and I've stuck with that form.  I mistakenly bought a bag of pellets, they hated them.  They ate them, because they'd starve if they didn't, but they really didn't like them.  Back to crumbles and they're happy.

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Offline twb

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Re: When does hen need to leave her chicks?
« Reply #7 on: December 07, 2008, 04:52:39 PM »
Twb, just throw them all together, I know two pens can be a bummer and they can keep warmer with the numbers.





Sounds like a family reunion happening this week!  "Mamma" chicken seems to be doing fine with the adults, too.  She even laid her egg in the nesting box and not on the floor.  It has been a good/new experience letting a chicken raise some chicks on her own.  Next time we will know more about what to expect and when.  Thanks again.
"Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones."  Proverbs 16:24

Sincerely,
TWB

Offline Brian D. Bray

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Re: When does hen need to leave her chicks?
« Reply #8 on: December 08, 2008, 03:56:32 AM »
I can get layer crumbles, and I've stuck with that form.  I mistakenly bought a bag of pellets, they hated them.  They ate them, because they'd starve if they didn't, but they really didn't like them.  Back to crumbles and they're happy.

Birds can be finicky eaters.  My chickens will only eat scratch and layer pellets while turning their beaks up at mash or crumbles.  My pigeons refuse the grain with the large kerneled yellow corn and will only eat the popcorn type.  Funny, but the chickens scarf down the kitchen scraps like they were chocolate raisins.
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Offline poka-bee

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Re: When does hen need to leave her chicks?
« Reply #9 on: December 08, 2008, 07:01:03 PM »
Brian, mine are the same.  I think it's what they are used to.  I don't use the crumbles cause of the waste. I keep trying to have a compost pile but the chix eat everything!! The pigeons eat the popcorn type corn like yours do but leave the wheat...I toss it on the ground for the feral bunny & chix.  J
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Offline Cindi

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Re: When does hen need to leave her chicks?
« Reply #10 on: December 08, 2008, 07:03:48 PM »
Ooh, made to comment.  My chickens much prefer the crumbles too, but tough tiddy is all I can say.  I bought it once when they were out of layer pellets, at the feed store -- it was $1 more a bag, that was the only time that they got a chance.  If they get hungry enough they will eat the pelleted forum.  They love the scratch, especially the wheat within it, they don't mind the flatted corn I give, but that comes second in their minds to the scratch too.

Oooh, another question.  What about the bones after one cooks turkey soup.  Does anyone give those leftover cooked bones, skin and mucky stuff to the chickens?  Comments....have a wonderful and great life, day, health.  Cindi
There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service

Offline Brian D. Bray

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Re: When does hen need to leave her chicks?
« Reply #11 on: December 08, 2008, 09:12:48 PM »
Brian, mine are the same.  I think it's what they are used to.  I don't use the crumbles cause of the waste. I keep trying to have a compost pile but the chix eat everything!! The pigeons eat the popcorn type corn like yours do but leave the wheat...I toss it on the ground for the feral bunny & chix.  J

Poka-bee:  You have 4 birds currently so the proper amount is less than one tuna can per day.  I feed my pigeons on the 1 cup (tuna can) per 5 birds ration.  Very little or no left over that way.  Any left over I feed to the chickens.
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Offline twb

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Re: When does hen need to leave her chicks?
« Reply #12 on: December 08, 2008, 09:22:17 PM »


Oooh, another question.  What about the bones after one cooks turkey soup.  Does anyone give those leftover cooked bones, skin and mucky stuff to the chickens?  Comments....have a wonderful and great life, day, health.  Cindi

We are ofter amazed at all they will eat.  Who needs a garbage disposal?  But we have not tried cooked bones yet.  They would probably smash them to smithereens(sp?) and gobble them down.

Thought I'd throw in a picture of the young birds that inspired this thread.
"Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones."  Proverbs 16:24

Sincerely,
TWB

Offline Cindi

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Re: When does hen need to leave her chicks?
« Reply #13 on: December 08, 2008, 10:31:24 PM »
TWB, beautiful little chickens.  I love the one looking at you as you are taking this picture. It is funny how they look at the camera, I am sure that they think it is a cyclops looking at them, and yes, smithereens, I am sure that is the spelling and that is a great word.  Beautiful day in this great life, live and love life, health. Cindi
There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service

Offline poka-bee

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Re: When does hen need to leave her chicks?
« Reply #14 on: December 09, 2008, 04:40:27 PM »
Cindi, they clean em up so fast & carry the bones off. (then I have to look for em so the dog doesn't get em...) I really don't want to ever fall where they can find me! :shock: Took em about an hour for the thanksgiving turkey,(21lbs) looked like the bones in a museum..they are like pirhana or TRex!!  They can't really carry the big leg bones though :-D  J
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Offline Cindi

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Re: When does hen need to leave her chicks?
« Reply #15 on: December 09, 2008, 09:30:44 PM »
I really don't want to ever fall where they can find me! :shock: Took em about an hour for the thanksgiving turkey,(21lbs) looked like the bones in a museum..they are like pirhana or TRex!! 

Jody, never fall down out there amongst the chickens, let alone, lose consciousness.  And...it, seems to me, if my memory serves me well (and mostly it does, hee, hee and smiling), judging from your body frame, it wouldn't take them long to get the meat off your bones, and fat.....well, I don't remember seeing any, smiling  :-X ;) :) :)  beautiful and great day, girl.  Cindi
There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service