Adding Baby Chicks to the Flock via the Coop at night?!?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by scaringi13, Sep 14, 2013.

  1. scaringi13

    scaringi13 New Egg

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    Jun 10, 2012
    I just came home with 3 Barred Rock Peeps. My plan was to raise them in a brooder and slowly integrate them into the flock of 3 one-year old hens (2x Orpington and 1x Ameraucana).

    However I was also advised to put them into the hen house at night with the hens to "trick" them into thinking that they are part of the flock.

    I have a set up to put them into the hen house if this can work. I am just skeptical that I will find our new babies perished in the night.

    Any advice from others that have tried this?
     
  2. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    How old are they? If they're littles, under 6 weeks, you can't just toss them in with older hens, they'll likely kill them right off. Plus, chicks need supplemental heat until they're feathered out.
     
  3. scaringi13

    scaringi13 New Egg

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    They are 3 days old. I have supplemental heat and food available for them if I were to use the coop. The advice that I was given was to put them in the coop at night right away. The thought being that the older laying hens would think that the peeps were their own.
     
  4. Bulletproof Roo

    Bulletproof Roo Out Of The Brooder

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    I did just this about two years ago with three very young Delaware hens. It worked just fine. I just had to make a special roosting perch for them on the other side of the hen house. Adult hens can be very cruel to young pullets that weren't raised up among them from chicks by one of them. Here's a video showing the age they were when introduced in this way.

    http://s176.photobucket.com/user/TheRealHawkeye/media/VIDEO0031.mp4.html
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2013
  5. Bulletproof Roo

    Bulletproof Roo Out Of The Brooder

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    Oh, I didn't know you meant young chicks. No, that will never work. They need to be cared for properly apart from the others till they are, as someone said, fully feathered out.
     
  6. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    Nope, I say don't try it at all or you'll have dead chicks. A hen needs to be broody before she'll think babies are her own. If she hasn't sat on the nest for a few weeks, she'll have none of them and kill them. Now, if you can block off part of the coop and want to brood them in there, that should be fine, but the hens need to not be able to access the babies.

    The only time I would even attempt to do what you're saying is if I had a strong, strong instinctual broody like a silkie who had already raised successful hatches. Even then, probably not. I just don't like dead chicks.
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2013
  7. CedarAcres

    CedarAcres Sunny Side Up

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    I would not add them at night either. It's not safe for the chicks. A broody hen will accept other chicks as her own if they are placed under her in the nest she is sitting on, but hens won't just blindly accept anything put into the coop with them.
     
  8. scaringi13

    scaringi13 New Egg

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    Thanks all for the advice. My brooder box in the shed with heat lamp should provide all that the peeps need for the next few weeks. They can get to know the others at a more appropriate time. [​IMG]
     

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