Introducing Hatch-a-Long Chicks to the Flock

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amy elizabeth | TBN Ranch

Mamma hen was separated from the flock five weeks ago to hatch and raise her baby chicks in a quiet and safe environment.  The chicks are now two weeks old and it’s time to move Mamma and her babies back to the coop. To keep harmony among the flock, I’ve closed off a corner with hardware cloth to allow visibility between existing flock, Mamma and babies. The frame is merely PVC pipe cut in 3 foot sections with wire attached using zip ties.

Here’s the set-up I’m using from Nursery to Coop…

Moving the hen with her chicks is best done at night when all the birds are sleeping. Last night wearing my handy head lamp, I headed out to the nursery coop. Throwing a blanket over the nest, I took Mom and her chicks, nest box and all, and placed it in the designated transition pen inside the coop. Come morning it will be introduction time! Safe, peaceful, and everybody is happy.

After a week or so, I’ll allow Mamma to take her babies out of the enclosure.  She will protect her babies from the existing flock, and at about five weeks, she will begin putting distance between her and them.

Silkie and Chicks 51016

Resources 2

Note:
Many chicken keepers allow their hens to hatch their eggs in a secluded area within the chicken coop. Others move hen and eggs back to coop three or four days before the hatch, both ways are certainly okay. I just like to give my hens a quiet place to do their mothering, it’s merely a personal preference.

 

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About tbnranch

amy elizabeth, writer, author, antique dealer. Lives in the northeastern reaches of the Sonoran Desert on a small hobby farm.
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