Best way to integrate new chicks in with our established flock?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Kristi26, Apr 22, 2017.

  1. Kristi26

    Kristi26 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 7, 2016
    Central PA
    Hi all! We just finished hatching out chicks from our flock's eggs. We incubated inside and they are currently in the brooder in my dining room. When it comes time to put them in the coop with the other girls, what is our best plan of attack? How old should they be when we introduce everyone?

    Thanks!

    Pics for the curious:

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  2. PD-Riverman

    PD-Riverman Overrun With Chickens

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    I vote Never---LOL. Just the way I have my chicken farm set-up. I will just let the ones that have good luck doing this tell you what they do. The type chickens you have does make a difference. I mainly have Rhode Island red and they Love to murder little chicks or mine did some years back when I let the broody hens hatch with the flock. Just a suggestion---I would move the water farther away from the heat so it will stay cooler. Warm water is no fun to drink for any of us. Good Luck
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2017
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  3. Kristi26

    Kristi26 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 7, 2016
    Central PA

    We moved the water. Thanks! Good tip.

    We have buff orpingtons, black jersey giants, and some mixed chicks that are both now.

    Never integrating is definitely not an option. We have one coop and want to keep it that way. ;)
     
  4. Kristi26

    Kristi26 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 7, 2016
    Central PA
  5. PD-Riverman

    PD-Riverman Overrun With Chickens

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    LOL, I have 67 coops and 67 chicken yards------but I understand!!! That's what I love about raising them----we can all Love raising our chickens and we can all do it Our way!
     
  6. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    There is some good advice in those two links from CT. We do this all sorts of ways as you will quickly see. Several of us raise out chicks in the coop or with the flock and successfully integrate at a very young age. Others wait until their chickens are pretty much grown. We are all so unique in our set-ups and situations that there is no one right way for everyone, different things work for different ones of us. I suggest you follow those links and try to decide which method might work for you.

    I’ll mention a few things I think are important or that can help a lot. To me the most important thing you can do is have a lot of room. The more room you have the easier this is. The more crowded it is the more likely you are to have problems. I’m not talking about 4 square feet in the coop and 10 in the run, I’m talking about enough room they can get away from each other and stay out of each other’s way. Quality of room is more important than square footage.

    At whatever age you do it, introducing the chickens to each other through wire so they can see each other but not get to each other can help a lot. If you can at all, house them side by side for at least a week, longer may be better. At least they are not strangers this way.

    Having separate feeding and watering stations allows them all to eat without them competing. That cuts down on the opportunity for conflict.

    Don’t force them to be together, let them manage that for themselves. Don’t lock them into a tiny space where they can’t get away from each other. If the young want to sleep somewhere other than the main roosts give them a safe place to roost that is not your nests, don’t expect them to share the main roosts until they are adults themselves. If there is enough difference in size, a “safe haven” is a good idea. Provide a place with openings small enough the chicks can get through to escape the bigs. The tighter your space the more important is having things the young can hid behind, under, or on. Some way to get out of line-of-sight if the older ones.

    A lot of it really plays off the theme, give them as much room as you possibly can. We do this all the time, often without problems. But it can be dangerous. You are doing the right thing by asking the question, but the topic is so general it’s hard to be specific. If you can tell us more about your facilities (size of coops and runs, how the coop is set up, and maybe photos) and number and age of chickens involved we may be able to be more specific.

    Good luck!
     
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