Brooding as introduction of new pullets


9 Years
Sep 8, 2010
I read some threads here about introducing newbies to a flock, and I also read Chicken Chick's excellent playpen-method article. But I have a special situation on which I'd love an opinion.

I have 6 young adult pullets in a coop large enough for several dozen. I want to add to the flock. My idea is to set up a chicken-wire-enclosed brooding pen INSIDE the big coop with the 6 adults. I can rig a heat lamp and feed and water inside this 3' by 4' brooder pen. This way the established adults will watch the newbies from day 1. The little ones will probably outgrow their little brooder pen in about a month and I'll need to let them mix in the coop at that time.

Do you think this will work? Or will the 6 adults terrorize the chicks by beating on the chicken wire, et cetera. Or do you foresee any other problems? Thanks!

It will work as it has for many who do it. If you are worried about the older birds breaking the wire down use a stronger wire and frame it. Don't forget the top cover. If they know they can't get to the chicks they will soon leave them alone. Most of the time they will just be curious. As you have thought, since they have grown up next to the flock they will easily integrate. I would wait till they are six weeks and larger to let them mingle. At that time I would make a door or two in the brooder that is too small for the adults so the chicks can retreat into the brooder. One down side or up side is that they be exposed early to any pathogen that the flock carries.
Denn - Thanks! I had a gut feeling that this would be the case, but I wanted to hear it from an expert.

As for pathogens, both sets are from the same hatchery, Mount Healthy, which so far I have found to be excellent.

Is there anyway you could rig a temporary wall of chicken wire to split the coop?
Then you could wait until the chicks are big enough to hold their own size-wise before full integration.

This is my plan, but haven't executed it yet.
Thanks, but it won't work here; the coop is a log cabin about 10 feet high. I'll build a small isolation area, covered.


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