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hens and her chicks

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 

I have 6 chicks that are about 7 weeks old with their mother hen separated from the flock in a smaller coop.  I believe that 3 are hens and 3 are roosters.

 

I've read and read and it seems like everyone has a different version of when to introduce. 

 

When and how can I introduce them to the flock.  They appear to be ready to be out of the smaller coop by their behaviors.  The mother hen still seems protective.  The large flock is 15 hens and a rooster. 

 

It does get cold at night here in Montana.  About 20-30s already.  I have not put the heat lamp in the coop yet. 

 

What time of day do I introduce them?

 

Thanks for the help.

post #2 of 2
Has the flock been able to see and hear them? If so, I'd just let them out. If you do, expect a little squabbling. Your mother hen will probably pick a few fights to let everyone else know that she isn't going to take any grief from them.

If they've been completely separate, then integration will be a bit tougher. You might make a separate, temporary enclosure inside the coop or run and put them in there for a week or two before letting them mingle. That way everyone can look, but not touch.

This is why I let (most) of my hens just brood with the flock. If they're already all together, they're already working on integration from the start. I do occasionally have to split them off, usually because I have so many sitting sitting I run out of space (ah, the joys of Silkies) or the broody is at the bottom of the pecking order and gets pushed out of her nest by higher ranking hens. When I do separate, they go into a two-sided hutch that sits in the run, so everyone is separate but still "together".

Anyway, hopefully you can go with the easier option and don't have to work too hard.

Good luck!
Nikki
*C'mon, get flappy!*
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Nikki
*C'mon, get flappy!*
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