Why Chicks Deserve a Mother – Reason #2


Another reason chicks deserve a mother is that with a mother, they get to go outside at a very early age. These chicks are just four days old and they are having the time of their lives scratching around outdoors with their mother. From now on, they will be spending most of their days outdoors. Farmers who raise their chicks without mothers would never consider putting such young chicks out to pasture. Most wait until the chicks are three, four or five weeks old before putting them outside. For example:

What these farms are doing is understandable. Without a mother to guard and provide warmth as needed, putting chicks outside after just four days would be cruel, if not a death sentence. But with a mother watching over the chicks, going outdoors at just four days old, even in cool weather, is no problem. The earliest I’ve seen a hen take her chicks outdoors is at day two, and the latest at 14 days. Most of the hens have their chicks running around outdoors within a week of hatching.

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1 Response to Why Chicks Deserve a Mother – Reason #2

  1. Mountain says:

    Yeah, our mother hens have all taken their babies outside within the first five days, usually Day 2 or Day 3. And yeah, the mamas do a great job of keeping them safe and warm. I’ve noticed that the chicks learn faster and seem more sure of themselves at a younger age when they’ve got a mama raising them. Not surprising, really, but it seems like common sense that most of the world has forgotten.

    When we’ve had hatchery chicks, I start putting them outside at Day 10, in a wire enclosure, so I don’t risk losing them. But even then, it’s just 20-30 minutes to start, increasing as they get older. For baby chicks, there’s nothing so perfect as a mama hen– it’s almost like they evolved for the role.

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