Hen Brings Her Two Week old Chicks To the Outdoor Run to Join the Flock
Having a hen raise chicks is a natural and effective way to ensure they receive the care and nurturing they need to thrive. Not to mention, it’s so much easier to have a hen raise chicks. Brooder chicks require more work, which is time-consuming and can be challenging at times. Hens are maternal animals and have a strong instinct to care for their offspring. They know how to keep the chicks warm, protect them from danger, and teach them how to find food and water. These two little fuzzy butts are hatch-a-longs, meaning I introduced day-old chicks to my broody Silkie on day 21 of her dedicated broody cycle. She has been kept in the coop with her babies since day one and has done an incredible job keeping them safe from the rest of the flock. On week two she brought them out of the coop to join the flock in the outdoor run. As you can see in this short video, total harmony.
Three Silkies and one Millie Fleur d’Uccle at one month, and six weeks old.
At Six Weeks…
Keeping these gals in the brooder a bit longer, probably until at minimum, eight weeks. Silkies seem to mature a bit slower than other breeds. The Mille Fleur up front is nicely feathered, but the Silkie behind still has open areas lacking fluff. Temps are mild here during the day, around mid 70’s, but at night temps drop to about 48. The chicks are in a large draft-free brooder inside a shed with radiant heat available to them. The large double doors are open during the day and closed at night. The window provides natural light, preparing them for the transition to the coop. I do however provide a night light for the first two weeks. The shed is insulated and heated, but the heat is rarely used, unless the chicks are really young or the temps drop below 50… which is rare.
The Wyandottes are laying, but still waiting on the slow maturing Easter Egger. Although seven months is average for the Easter Egger, it is now three weeks past seven months. No worries… just fashionably late.