Adding chicks to flock?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by jrudolph305, Feb 14, 2013.

  1. jrudolph305

    jrudolph305 Songster

    Dec 1, 2009
    Meadows of Dan, Va
    I have seen many posts that say to wait until chicks are 12 or more weeks old to add them to a flock. If we let a hen go broody and hatch some eggs why is there a problem? I would think years ago on farms there were chickens of all ages in a flock. Perhaps because the flock was basically free range years ago so minimal interaction among age groups? Really don't want to have nor do we have room for a seperate coop and run areas for the younguns'.

  2. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Crowing

    Apr 11, 2011
    Even if you have a broody hen, there's no guarantee that she will take them. Sure, some hens are so desperate to mother that they'll take ANYTHING (I saw a pic circulating on Facebook of a hen sitting on a puppy :love ). But, said broody hen could also see the chicks as an intruder to her nest and injure them severely or kill them. Not all broody hens are created equal. I've had those hens that will brood any living critter and others that weren't fit to raise rocks. Scalped and dead chicks are a heartbreaking thing. Most hens will only accept day olds as well, so that's something else to consider. If you can't brood them yourself, which is the alternative if she doesn't take them, why not just get some hatching eggs? Then they'll certainly be hers and she can do all of the work of raising and integrating them into the flock. Good luck!
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2013
  3. Sunyoung

    Sunyoung In the Brooder

    Sep 25, 2011
    If you let one of your hens hatch some eggs then I don't see why that would be a problem. Just make sure the nest box that she uses while broody is low to the ground for the chicks' sake. That way if the chicks were to fall out or jump out of the nest box, they'd still be able to get back in. I've heard of people separating their broody hens and also of people who keep their broody hens with the flock - it's your call. [​IMG]
  4. debid

    debid Crowing

    Jan 20, 2011
    middle TN
    You might find that your hens don't go broody. Then what? I did my first addition with 3 grown pullets sneaked in at night and still had issues so we're building a mini-coop annex. It's small and simple but the primary purpose is temporary housing for 3-4 juveniles in close proximity to the big chicken run. Other functions that it could serve are broody hen separation, injured hen recovery facility, somewhere to house an accidental cockerel we can't keep until he has a new home, etc. So many uses for a simple little structure made almost entirely of scraps! I wish we'd built it sooner.

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