Adding Chicks to our Established Flock

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by AsanumaGardens, May 7, 2019.

  1. AsanumaGardens

    AsanumaGardens Chirping

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    *Edit: I just realized there is a huge thread on this :lau Any advice still welcome **

    18 days ago we brought home four 2-day old chicks to give to a broody hen. We thought she would be a stellar mom, given her LOVE of brooding, unfortunately, the hen was not interested in raising the chicks, and infact, treated them as invaders!

    The good news is that since this was the first time we had ever tried giving a broody hen chicks, we were prepared for the possibility of rejection.

    We set up our chick brooder inside our coop, well protected with hardware cloth. They are in full view of our flock of 10 (Which includes one rooster) whenever the flock is inside the coop. When the chicks have "outside" time, we keep them in an old dog kennel for similar protection.

    We've never seen any aggression from the flock towards the chicks, but obviously we aren't with the flock 24/7.

    When would be the right time to remove the barriers, and let the chicks mingle with the flock?

    View of interior of the coop. Brooder on the right.
    IMG_20190504_145725.jpg

    Outdoor time
    MVIMG_20190504_141208.jpg
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2019
  2. AsanumaGardens

    AsanumaGardens Chirping

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    @aart I just read your article on adding chicks at 4 weeks, and I was wondering at what point you saw the chicks returning to their roost at the end of the day? Also, do you feel the small doors that larger hens can't get through are a necessary protection?

    Thanks!
     
    Wee Farmer Sarah likes this.
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    There's lots of threads on integration....nothing wrong with starting your own thread with information specific to your situation.

    I usually... put the chicks in the coop 1 week after hatch,
    open the door to the separate run at about 2 weeks,
    open the tiny doors into the main coop at about 3-4 weeks,
    and remove the barrier wall at about 6 weeks.


    Yes, I do. It lets the chicks mingle with the flock but have a safe place to go. I also put up a creep feeder area after the wall comes down so they can eat in peace.

    They go to their safe area at dusk from the start.
     
    blackdog043 and AsanumaGardens like this.
  4. Stacyoung13

    Stacyoung13 Crowing

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    Let them out to mingle any time, just make sure to have plenty of hiding places. I put a piece of fencing in the corner of my run, with chicken wire on top, babies can get in but adults can’t.
    67BE85F5-F1ED-43CA-9498-E9F5F9098420.jpeg 917479BF-29AD-48BB-9D07-05F9A1A329B3.jpeg
    I also used left over screen to make a playpen for outside play.
    08D4AD0C-A6BF-4845-9A24-40EF3F8A0349.jpeg A6BB068C-4404-482C-A841-5BE0ED2A199B.jpeg
    Good luck with your babies
     
  5. rosemarythyme

    rosemarythyme Free Ranging

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    Everyone who does early integration has a slightly different approach, so go with what makes sense in your set up.

    Yes and no. Chicks need a safe place that the hens can't get into, but it doesn't have to be doors. I did a chicken wire (or hardware cloth would be a safer option) mini run around my brooder and elevated the wire on a few bricks. Bricks are just the right height for letting chicks in and out. Plus I loaded up the run with obstacles so you'd see chicks just zooming around whenever a hen gave them the stink eye.

    My brooder with some integration notes and tips: https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/short-on-time-recycle-a-prefab-brooder.73985/
     
    AsanumaGardens, blackdog043 and aart like this.
  6. WhoDatChick

    WhoDatChick Free Ranging

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    The fencing in the corner is a great idea!
     
    AsanumaGardens likes this.
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    True....'opening' would be a better word to use than 'doors'.
     
    AsanumaGardens likes this.
  8. AsanumaGardens

    AsanumaGardens Chirping

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    Thank you so much everyone for your advice so far!
     

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