Adding new chicks to a family

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by afre13, Apr 24, 2016.

  1. afre13

    afre13 In the Brooder

    Mar 9, 2013
    My black australorp is sitting on a clutch of 8 eggs right now. Of course, some will be roosters and need to be culled/ sold. I want to get some pullets of different breeds when her eggs hatch. How can I introduce new chicks to a mother who already has some?

  2. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member 7 Years

    Jun 28, 2011
    Rep of Ireland
    I've successfully added chicks to broody hens' clutches simply by going up to her with the chick and letting her hear and call the chick in my hands, when it started cheeping. I put the chick on the ground and back off slightly and watch. Most of the time the chick will go up to the hen and the other chicks and the hen was happy to accept them, BUT it's not a guarantee that yours will, so if your try this, stay close enough to be able to grab the chick if needed. Otherwise, wait until she is sleeping and slip the chick(s) under her wings. She'll (hopefully) get up in the morning none the wiser.
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member 5 Years

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Best is to get day old chicks at the same time the broodies chicks are a day old and slip them into the nest at night.
  4. thebulg

    thebulg Chirping

    Aug 20, 2015
    North carolina
    If you are talking about other little chicks, i would go with the abive advice. You can put chicks on with the mother and babies at night as well when everyone is calm.

    If you are talking about adding non laying, feathered chickens, my advice would be to wait or have a good isolation zone ready. Bringing in other chickens who are not babies means you are bringing in unknown flora, fauna and bacteria. Your chicks and your hens will have no immunities built up to what they bring in and your hen that was jjst broody is not going to be at her most robust. The stress of adding chicks and pullets at the same time could be enough to confuse your flock into a semi peaceful merge, or it could mean a lot of fighting, stress, bad eggs, and blood.

    If i put myself in your shoes and i had to have adult hens, hatched chicks, and pullets at the same time, at my particular home i would build another coop and put the pullets in the front yard, near our fence. Our flock is in the backyard. After a month i would open up the run for the pullets so it extended to the fence line so all of the chickens can see each other and interact, but cannot hurt each other and the chicks would at that time be too big to get through the fence. And i would wait unti, the chickens are spending time together relaxing through the fence. We've done this before, minus the chicks. It took around a month of fence-interaction until we could see the chickens wanted to be together. We brought their mobile coop into the backyard and there has never been a single fight.

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