Can I introduce my chicks to my chicken?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by katanne555, Nov 11, 2013.

  1. katanne555

    katanne555 Out Of The Brooder

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    My 4 baby chickens are about 3 weeks old. I have a fully grown Rhode Island Red chicken who hasn't met the babies yet. How old should they be before I can introduce them to eachother? Also what are some good ways to have chickens meet eachother? i would appreciate any tips :) thank you
     
  2. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Overrun With Chickens

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    I'd wait until they are at least twelve weeks old before introducing them to an adult hen. There are many good ways to integrate chickens in. One way is to put them in at night, when everyone is roosting. When they wake up together the next morning, fighting will often be reduced. Its also a good idea to have a small enclosure/pen/dog crate inside of the main run or coop, and put the young birds in that. This way, the young birds and the hen can see each other, but can't hurt each other. After a few days, you can put them together. The Rhode Island Red will likely be rather mean to the younger birds, and they'll run away squawking a bit and acting frightened. As long as there is enough space for them to get away, they'll be fine.
     
  3. WalkingOnSunshine

    WalkingOnSunshine Overrun With Chickens

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    In general, it's best to wait until a younger bird is physically the same size as a hen, at around 18 weeks old, before trying to integrate them. Hens have been known to kill chicks, and will at the very least peck them mercilessly.

    Let them get to know each other with a fence in between for a while. If that goes well, let them mix while outside ranging, where they have lots of room. If that goes well, put the chicks in with the hen.
     
  4. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    X 2 on waiting until they are nearly the same size as the older bird so they'll be better able to defend themselves. You have an advantage in that you are introducing several new birds to just one existing bird but she will still go after them at first. In my own experience it has been my RIR's that have been the most aggressive in attacking newbies. So just keep an eye on them when they finally do share space.
     

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