Adding chicks without a second coop

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by jennyg, Feb 18, 2015.

  1. jennyg

    jennyg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have three white leghorn, a production red, easter eager and a black australop
    I will get freshly hatched chicks tomorrow (barred rock, rhode island and blue laced red wyodette) I red best I to add a chicken coop next to each other. We free range a lot. Any way to add chicks without a second coop.
     
  2. paddock36

    paddock36 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The way I add mine is to put a cage inside the coop for the new birds to be in for several days. That way the old flock can get used to the new birds without being able to get to them. Then after several days I add them to the roost at night. Sometimes there is still a little bullying of the new birds but not very much. I wouldn't add chicks until they have grown enough to be about the same size as whats already in the coop.
     
  3. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Flock Master

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    Are your existing birds adults? Or are they also babies? You can't put babies with adults. They'll end up getting killed unless they have a broody to defend them. The babies will need a heated brooder. Have you brooded chicks before? If not, you'll need to do some reading. The earliest I'd put youngsters with adults is around 9 weeks, and that's after a gradual integration.
     
  4. cavemanrich

    cavemanrich Overrun With Chickens

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    Have read time and again advising against adding baby chicks to adult chickens. They may get finished off. I suggest you raise them a while, separate, until they are a little bigger. Don't have the answer as to how many weeks, but I'm sure someone else can lead you there.
    You will need to keep your fresh chicks in a brooder anyway. It is winter, and you don't disclose where you are at. Nobody really needs to know exact location, but it is nice if we know your general area. It is easier to give advice as to weather related and such. If you desire to keep a low profile, then lie and say you are in a town 40 miles away. The weather will be the same. Hope this helps you out. In the IDEAL UNIVERSE we would have all types of facilities and separations to do things as desired. In the REAL WORLD we do the BEST WE CAN.
    [​IMG]
     
  5. song of joy

    song of joy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Is there any way you can partition your existing coop to keep the new birds away from the older ones, but in sight of them? If not, a 2nd coop may be the only way to go. I typically wait until the new birds are 14-16 weeks old before combining them with the older hens. At that age the pullets are big enough, quick enough and smart enough to keep away from the pecks of the older hens.

    Free ranging is a very good way to introduce them to each other. I usually let the younger birds free range without the older hens for at least 5 days so they learn the ropes, and establish a pattern of coming back to the coop at night. Then I let both groups out together; this gives the young ones lots of space to escape from the hens.
     
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  6. jennyg

    jennyg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes the older ones are all 1+
    I have had chicks before and usually keep babies in 5 weeks (hawaii it never gets cold) but they are still little so thought about letting them free range and let them stay inside at night.
    I am really nervous about adding chicks but we need few more for the supply
     

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