Brooding new chicks in the coop...what problems will I face?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by MoonShadows, Feb 13, 2016.

  1. MoonShadows

    MoonShadows The Jam Man

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    I haven't bought new chicks in a few years. My flock is down to10. They have an 80 sq ft coop with a 160 sq ft run and are allowed to free range on a few acres almost every day unless the weather is dreadful. I have ordered 15 new chicks. I plan to make a brooding section under the poop board in the coop. The poop board is about 3.5 feet off the ground and the square footage underneath is more than enough room for a brooding area. In fact, I may only use a portion of this area. My thoughts are the chicks will be in close proximity to the established hens as they mature. What problems might I encounter during their maturation? And, when they are ready to leave the brooder, what problems might I encounter then? My thoughts are they should all be pretty used to each other by the time I am ready to physically mix them together, but I want to hear what others have to say who may have tried this. Thanks.
     
  2. BoomChickaPop

    BoomChickaPop Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Chicks are ready to leave their brooder at about 4 weeks
    Just make sure the chicks won't get out into the mature hens pen cause they might hurt the chick
    Can you post a picture of your setup?
     
  3. MoonShadows

    MoonShadows The Jam Man

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    Thanks BoomCickaPop. You say they are ready to leave the brooder in about 4 weeks. When you say make sure they don't get into the mature hens' pen because they might get hurt, do you mean before the 4 weeks...and after the 4 weeks it should be OK?

    I thought I had a pic of the area I want to use. I will take a pic tomorrow and post it.

    I would appreciate your further insights then.

    Thanks!
     
  4. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    It's usually best to integrate new youngsters into the flock when they are about 10 weeks old and close in size to the older birds. At that age they are more able to get away and/or defend themselves against the inevitable pecking order scuffles that are going to occur. Very young birds can get into trouble very quickly, even be killed by older birds if things get out of hand.

    The other issue I'm seeing here is that you are pretty short on coop/run space for 25 birds. It will help that they are out sometimes but they still have to go to roost at night and fights often break out there even in the best of situations. Crowding will make potential problems worse and will make integration of new birds that much harder.
     
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  5. BoomChickaPop

    BoomChickaPop Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Your welcome
    Yes I mean before 4 weeks even after you can never underestimate a mature hen.
    Just until they have all their feathers but always see how the mature birds act.
     
  6. MoonShadows

    MoonShadows The Jam Man

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    Thanks carfarmgirl. I know I am a little short on coop space, but by May, when the chicks arrive....and if I don't let them into the "general population" until they are 10 weeks old (July),they will have about 3-4 acres to free range from Spring until first snow fall. Do you still think this may be a problem? I do know there will be pecking order issues in the coop and on the roost (3.2 sq ft per bird); that is inevitable even no matter how much space they have.
     
  7. BoomChickaPop

    BoomChickaPop Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They should be fine and happy to have 3-4 acres to roam.
    I agree with carfarmgirl it will be fine for them to be put with the rest of the flock at about 10 weeks.
     
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  8. MoonShadows

    MoonShadows The Jam Man

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    Jan 23, 2013
    Pocono Mtns
    My Coop
     
  9. BoomChickaPop

    BoomChickaPop Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 24, 2016
    Relaxing with my Buns
    Your welcome
     
  10. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    Do a search on users "azygous" and "aart". They integrate much earlier than 10 weeks and have a good system for doing it. I plan on trying their methods this year when I replenish my flock.
     
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