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Adding a New Chick

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

I have been raising 3 chicks since they were 1 day old.  They are now 4 weeks old, and my RIR is obviously not a pullet.  I found her (er... him) a new good home with a friend who has 50 chickens and said one more rooster would be just fine.  Now I only have 3 chicks.  My question is, if I went back to the co-op and picked up another chick, would the 4 week old chicks bully/pester her?  Should I just keep the 2 I have left and wait til next year to pick up a couple new ones?  The 2 that are left are a Plymouth barred Rock and an Americauna just in case breed temperaments are a factor. 

post #2 of 8

There will probably be enough size difference that the bigger ones will attack and perhaps kill the little one.  The ideal setup is to raise the little one right next to the others but separated by a fence.  After a while, if they seem to be comfortable together, you could make a small hole in the fence so the little one can go on either side but the big ones have to stay on their own side.  The safest time to mix chickens is when they are all more or less the same size.  See the last part of this article:

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/adding-to-your-flock

post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 

That's what I was afraid of.  Will 2 be OK together?  I know they are social birds, and I am not sure if a pair is going to be enough to kep them happy.  And I see a typo in my original post.  I had 3, now have 2.  I really wish I could have kept my little roo.  He was so sweet!  

post #4 of 8

Two is OK, until you lose one.  They will survive alone, just not very contentedly. They get attached to the humans in their life, seeing them as their flock, and then have a hard time integrating with other chickens.  By the way, one roo with 2 hens would probably have been a problem, in time, because the hens would be overmated, damaging/puling out  feathers due to mating, and even causing cuts in some cases.

 

I don't suppose your friend with 50 chickens would have a 4 or 5 week old chick for you?  Maybe the coop has some older ones, or knows someone who has enough that they could part with one.

 

A general rule of thumb is that you can combine chicks of different ages without a problem if they are all under 4 weeks old -- though like any rule of thumb, it isn't always that simple.  It's even possible that your two would accept a very young chick with little difficulty.  There aren';t many absolutes with chickens.

 

One trick many find useful is to alter your setup so that the little one can get away from the others through a hole too small for the older ones. 

post #5 of 8
I got 2 brown Leghorns and 2 cuckoo Marans about a month ago. They were already a week old, making them 5 weeks now. I also got 2 Buff Orpingtons two weeks ago. I've been keeping them in a separate brooder because of the size difference.

A few days ago I decided to put the BOs in with the others to see how they would do. I was nervous and was ready to pull them out if it got ugly.

Pretty quickly one of the Leghorns started to go over and check out the new roommates. The larger BO puffed up and flapped its little wings and the big leghorn backed down! I left them in there for about an hour that day and will probably do that several times a week until they get more feathered out and can stay for good. They haven't really integrated, yet, but there hasn't been the pecking that I feared.
post #6 of 8

Their babies,the last thing they have in mind is death.

 

I have added chickens 3 weeks apart together and have never have had any problem.

I have a  few chickens.

2 barreds,named Falcon and Hawk

1 New Hampshire rooster named,Zeus

2 New Hampshire hens named,Vanillipe (One has no name)

1 silver laced Wyandotte named,Special girl

1 White Leghorn roosters named Foggy

3 black&red Sex links,(Black)angel,and one red is named little red,and the other one is Mrs.Prissy

And a few others that sadly,died

 

I have a 11 ducks.

Reply

I have a  few chickens.

2 barreds,named Falcon and Hawk

1 New Hampshire rooster named,Zeus

2 New Hampshire hens named,Vanillipe (One has no name)

1 silver laced Wyandotte named,Special girl

1 White Leghorn roosters named Foggy

3 black&red Sex links,(Black)angel,and one red is named little red,and the other one is Mrs.Prissy

And a few others that sadly,died

 

I have a 11 ducks.

Reply
post #7 of 8

They may fight her,but they may not kill her.But,now I did say the last thing had in mine is death,but thats just most generaly

I have a  few chickens.

2 barreds,named Falcon and Hawk

1 New Hampshire rooster named,Zeus

2 New Hampshire hens named,Vanillipe (One has no name)

1 silver laced Wyandotte named,Special girl

1 White Leghorn roosters named Foggy

3 black&red Sex links,(Black)angel,and one red is named little red,and the other one is Mrs.Prissy

And a few others that sadly,died

 

I have a 11 ducks.

Reply

I have a  few chickens.

2 barreds,named Falcon and Hawk

1 New Hampshire rooster named,Zeus

2 New Hampshire hens named,Vanillipe (One has no name)

1 silver laced Wyandotte named,Special girl

1 White Leghorn roosters named Foggy

3 black&red Sex links,(Black)angel,and one red is named little red,and the other one is Mrs.Prissy

And a few others that sadly,died

 

I have a 11 ducks.

Reply
post #8 of 8

But baby chicks can be over powering.I had a  young cockeral and  a pullet about 2 months old and they DID get ugly.Even when it come s to the pecking order baby chicks can be mean.Keep in mind,roosters are meant to protect and they have different ways to defend themselves,so they are more brutal.Girl chicks almost never fight as brutal as mine did.

I have a  few chickens.

2 barreds,named Falcon and Hawk

1 New Hampshire rooster named,Zeus

2 New Hampshire hens named,Vanillipe (One has no name)

1 silver laced Wyandotte named,Special girl

1 White Leghorn roosters named Foggy

3 black&red Sex links,(Black)angel,and one red is named little red,and the other one is Mrs.Prissy

And a few others that sadly,died

 

I have a 11 ducks.

Reply

I have a  few chickens.

2 barreds,named Falcon and Hawk

1 New Hampshire rooster named,Zeus

2 New Hampshire hens named,Vanillipe (One has no name)

1 silver laced Wyandotte named,Special girl

1 White Leghorn roosters named Foggy

3 black&red Sex links,(Black)angel,and one red is named little red,and the other one is Mrs.Prissy

And a few others that sadly,died

 

I have a 11 ducks.

Reply
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