adding chicks

cherisgagnon

Chirping
5 Years
May 22, 2014
5
0
50
Have 4 beautiful Buff Orphs that are 3 years old, laying is variable. Looking to add a couple younger birds/chicks as the girls get older. My luck adding new birds to existing flocks has not been great. Any suggestions pullets versus chicks?
 
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oldhenlikesdogs

Grateful
BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Jul 16, 2015
45,543
79,501
1,462
Wisconsin
I have always added my new ones when they are around 8-10 weeks. I pen them within the coop for a week, where everyone can see them, than begin letting them out with supervision, until I feel comfortable everyone has accepted them, I lock them up at night by themselves for a month or two. It's normal for chicks to show up in a flock and they are not a threat to the existing pecking order. Older birds will be viewed as intruders and they will try to drive them off. Chicks get pecked occasionally if they don't move but mostly the older ones go easy on them.
 

azygous

Enabler
11 Years
Dec 11, 2009
23,828
34,458
1,122
Colorado Rockies
Could you share with us the problems you've encountered adding chickens to your flock? Did you try to add adult chickens? That's the most difficult, by far.

Brooding day-olds right in the coop or run in full view of the existing flock, I find is the easiest way to get the flock to accept new members. The chicks are accepted by the flock because they are small and unthreatening, and by the time the chicks grow up, the flock knows them so well, there are rarely any problems.

I use the heating pad system, rig up a frame to form a warming cave right out in the run that's separate but in full view of the adults. When the chicks are three weeks old, I open portals into the rest of the run from the chick pen, allowing the chicks access to the entire run. By age five weeks, the chicks have been fully integrated into the flock and are moved into the coop to roost with the adults.

It's really the easiest way to add to your flock, as I see it.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
96,705
130,663
1,807
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
Could you share with us the problems you've encountered adding chickens to your flock? Did you try to add adult chickens? That's the most difficult, by far.

Brooding day-olds right in the coop or run in full view of the existing flock, I find is the easiest way to get the flock to accept new members. The chicks are accepted by the flock because they are small and unthreatening, and by the time the chicks grow up, the flock knows them so well, there are rarely any problems.

I use the heating pad system, rig up a frame to form a warming cave right out in the run that's separate but in full view of the adults. When the chicks are three weeks old, I open portals into the rest of the run from the chick pen, allowing the chicks access to the entire run. By age five weeks, the chicks have been fully integrated into the flock and are moved into the coop to roost with the adults.

It's really the easiest way to add to your flock, as I see it.
You should add this one of both of the pics in this post every time you describe your excellent integration setup:
https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1069595/introducing-chicks-to-adults#post_16276224
 

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