28 day old chick and one non-broody hen! Help!

JJA

Hatching
8 Years
Sep 9, 2011
8
0
7
Hi,
Real chicken novice here - I've just had adult hens before, integrated new ones successfully etc etc. However, at the moment, I have just one hen. At my children's nursery they hatched out chicks in an incubator. Just one survived and the kids put us forward to have it!
I have been keeping the chick indoors in a little enclosure with heat lamp etc. It's been fed chick crumb only, and water, and is thriving and growing like mad.

Has anyone got any advice on when and how to introduce/integrate it to my other hen? She isn't broody at the mo' so not sure how she'll take to a newbie, but thought being on her own might make it easier as the pecking order would be easily established!

What do you all think????
 

HEChicken

Crowing
10 Years
Aug 12, 2009
7,552
204
336
BuCo, KS
My Coop
Being that they are each a "flock of one", my guess would be that you will be able to integrate without TOO many issues. I would not expect the adult to mother the chick, particularly as she is not broody, but rather to think of the new arrival as a flock mate. Your older hen will establish herself as the flock leader and may peck at the chick a little at first but my guess would be that before long they will be hanging out together. It would be a lot harder if you were trying to introduce a lone chick to a flock of adults. Good luck!
 

JJA

Hatching
8 Years
Sep 9, 2011
8
0
7
Thanks so much - sounds positive.
What age do you think? Chick is 28 days at present, good feathers but still a fluffy head! Took her outside today for the first time for 10mins as it was quite warm (23deg) but it's getting cooler all the time here - Norfolk, England - any advice?
 

HEChicken

Crowing
10 Years
Aug 12, 2009
7,552
204
336
BuCo, KS
My Coop
Starting with time outside when it is warm is a good idea. That is usually about the age I start to transition mine too, building up the time they are outdoors each day. By about 6 weeks the chick should be fully feathered and able to withstand quite cold temps. The time outdoors will also serve as an introduction for the two birds to one another - hopefully they can see/talk to one another through a wire partition of some sort?

Once I have built the time outdoors up to several hours at a time, I allow the little ones a little time outside of their chick run, to interact directly with the older girls, while still bringing them in at night for a few more nights. Eventually one night, instead of carrying them into the house, I carry them into the coop and from that time on they are outside chickens.
 

lauriej57

Chirping
9 Years
Sep 17, 2010
104
1
91
Southwest Michigan
If you have access to a small wire dog crate, that will fit in your coop, or a way to separate your coop with chicken wire, you can put the chick in there, where the 2 can see each other for a week or 2, then try integrating them. When you put them in together, try finding something, a box or something, that you can set up where the chick can run and hide from the hen, that the hen can't get to.
 

JJA

Hatching
8 Years
Sep 9, 2011
8
0
7
Thanks all for your help and advice.
Just thought I'd let you know that 'Lottie' is now outside and fully accepted by 'Harriet'. She has been sleeping in the coop for the last 3 nights and finds her own way in and out.
We have just introduced 2 new chicks into the equation and even that is going well! I think Lottie is a Sussex/Plymouth cross, Hattie (my old hen) is a silkie cross and the two newbies are booted bantam crosses and are stunning! I LOVE MY CHICKENS!!!!
Jo

(NB: If anyone can help me to uplaod an image I can do that!)

Thanks again.
 

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