broody abandoned chicks and it's cold!
We've had 6 broody hens raise chicks this year; each mom and chicks group gets a separate pen/shelter and then as the chicks get to 4-6 weeks I let them mingle with the rest of the flock (all free-range all day). So far it has gone well--mom and chicks return at night to their small coops and all eventually end up in the big coop. With one exception. Yesterday I let a Columbian Wyandotte hen with her 2 chicks, age 4 weeks, out of their small pen late afternoon. At dusk the chicks had returned to their little coop and the hen was in the big coop. It was cold (26) last night and the chicks were cold--so I brought the hen back with them for the night. Today she is ignoring them--they are kind of huddled in a corner. Will the chicks be warm enough tonight with just each other? I've had a broody lose interest in her chicks at 4 weeks (when she started to lay) but then there were 5 chicks and the weather was warm. In contrast, I have a bantam hen who is still with her 6 chicks, (some now bigger than she is) at 9 weeks.