Originally Posted by chickens102403
When introducing new chicks I would Place them under her while she is in the nesting box. This will fool her into thinking they are her chicks. If everything goes right, then she will raise them for you and you don't have to brood them in your house. And I am glad that she is happier:ya !
Yes she has to already be broody for this to have any chance of not ending with dead chicks. Even then be prepared for it to not work, our silkie still tried to peck them to death after being broody a month.
You can add them around 3-5 weeks old if you make sure they have plenty of places to escape to if she takes a dislike. They need to be introduced in a seperate but visible area for a week first before allowing them together. They are young enough most hens just ignore them, but you need to watch carefully in case you have that one that reacts badly instead. I still lock them away on their own at night for another couple of weeks.
BUT.......That said though if it's the middle of winter there you can't really do that either because birds that young are going to still need heat if it's winter. I think you are going to struggle to provide heat and let them integrate while young enough.
Being winter I would be tempted to buy young pullets old enough to not need heat but young enough not to be sure enough of themselves to gang up on her. Again keep them together but seperate for a week or two before letting them together. So pick an age will be still young enough at the end of quarantine
period. Again make sure they have escape/hiding places and feed and water at both ends of the run in case she won't share hers. Big the integration doesn't go well (a few pecks and chasing is normal) then seperate again for a few more weeks. She will at least have company through the fence.Edited by appps - 12/23/15 at 12:23pm