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Integrating Baby Chicks...

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

Hi All...

 

I'm about to get some chicks today and I just have a question about integrating them...

 

Will the hens adopt them as newborns, or do they need to be kept separate and then integrated as juveniles?

 

My hens are not even a year old yet (they were born in June)...They have been laying for three-four months, but it's winter here and they are not showing any signs of going broody yet...They do sit in the nesting boxes even if they have laid for the day, but I don't think they are committed to hatching anything at this point...

post #2 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brillig View Post
 

Hi All...

 

I'm about to get some chicks today and I just have a question about integrating them...

 

Will the hens adopt them as newborns, or do they need to be kept separate and then integrated as juveniles?

 

My hens are not even a year old yet (they were born in June)...They have been laying for three-four months, but it's winter here and they are not showing any signs of going broody yet...They do sit in the nesting boxes even if they have laid for the day, but I don't think they are committed to hatching anything at this point...


No--in most cases the hens will not adopt them----probably kill them if the cold don't get them first. I am hoping if you are going to get a few day old chicks that you already have a "properly" heated brooder set up to put them in. I do not put the chicks with the adults----Never, but if I was to I would wait till they were adults so they can some---what protect themselves.

post #3 of 8
The new chicks need to be kept separate and under a heating lamp. The older hens will peck them so hard and could kill them. Some hens are not the broody type and some are to young to really know what to do. Just keep watching them and keep the baby's separate untill they are juveniles.
post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thanks...That's kinda what I thought...I have a full set-up from brooder to intermediate pen to a way to keep them separate as juveniles while integrating them...I was just curious about the hens, but I kinda knew they'd be tempted to kill them...

 

Thanks for the advice!!!

post #5 of 8

If your coop is big enough to put up a separation space with a wire wall,

and has a power source for brooder heat,

I would suggest getting chicks out to coop by one week old. 

 

I used a separation wall with tiny doors in it and had the chicks mingling with the flock by 4 weeks, wall was down by 6 weeks.

Easiest integration I've ever done.

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Reply

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Reply
post #6 of 8
Hi guys, I have a similar question. I just got 8 chicks on Friday last week, they are doing wonderfully. Because of the feed stores "chick schedule" I am also getting a couple more tomorrow and another couple on Friday. How should I integrate them? Will the 8 chicks who have been here for a few days now pick on the newbies? Should I keep the separate until the newbies are a few days older and bigger?? Not sure if the same rules apply if the "existing flock" is only a week or so old smile.png thanks for the help!
post #7 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmachado View Post

Hi guys, I have a similar question. I just got 8 chicks on Friday last week, they are doing wonderfully. Because of the feed stores "chick schedule" I am also getting a couple more tomorrow and another couple on Friday. How should I integrate them? Will the 8 chicks who have been here for a few days now pick on the newbies? Should I keep the separate until the newbies are a few days older and bigger?? Not sure if the same rules apply if the "existing flock" is only a week or so old smile.png thanks for the help!


I guess you are saying the new chicks you are going to get are or will be days younger? I have mixed chicks in the brooder that were hatched a few days later without a problem, BUT I always watch for a few, then keep coming back every little while to make sure everything is going ok----peeping quietly to make sure no one is getting picked on----if things are good a few hours later---I do not worry about it anymore.

post #8 of 8
Yes that's what I meant. I have a very large brooder set up so I could separate if needed but I kind of hoped the new ones would just join right in and follow/learn from the older ones. Fingers crossed
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