Adding to the flock.

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by tinkerbell265, Mar 2, 2014.

  1. tinkerbell265

    tinkerbell265 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 16, 2013
    Hey all! I've ordered 5 new chicks from the hatchery and plan on adding them to my existing flock of 2. I had 3 casualties last year and as you've guessed, I'd like to expand my flock. I was hoping someone could give me great advice on this.


    Here is my plan (tell me when and if its wrong.)

    I'd like to show the chicks to adult birds and get them used to the idea of having more chickens around. I think it would be great to let the adults see them a with a strict no touch policy and get to know them as they grow? Is that even close to acurate? I'm still pretty new to chickens.

    If someone is broody, would it be okay to just let one of my hens raise the babies?

    I'd like to wait at least 4-6 months before truly adding them for good. Is that too soon? When is a good time to add chicks to a flock and go from brooder to coop in my case? My current hens don't stay in a pen. They free range until their hearts are content! Idk if that information helps anyone. Maybe all that yard space would cut down on conflict?

    Should I closely monitor them after adding to make sure no one is killed or injured?

    Lastly, I wasn't sure if i should add them all at once, or just one at a time?

    Again, my current flock is the sad little number of 2 and I'm getting 5 this April.

    If anyone has any advice or information from past experiences, I'd greatly appreciate it!

    Thanks guys!
     
  2. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    On the MN prairie.
    I think you're right on the mark with separation, yet being able to see one another. Four to six months (I'd go closer to 6) is a good age as they'll be closer to the same size. Free ranging will help since they can get away from one another if needed. I would add them all at once to reduce the risk of bullying. With 5 of them, those older girls won't know who to go after first. I'd watch them some, but serious injury or death isn't too likely to happen. There will be some skirmishes as pecking order is being established.
     
  3. tinkerbell265

    tinkerbell265 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 16, 2013
    Great! Thanks! Everything I've read about adding to the flock just makes me feel like my hens are going to kill the babies. :( But I'm glad to hear death and serious injuries are less likely!
     
  4. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
    If you were to try to introduce them as babies, you're right - the hens would try to kill them. Hens don't like babies unless they've hatched them, or think they've hatched them. I have put day old chicks under broodies and it has turned out very well.
     

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