Chick introductions

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Bran2529, Apr 17, 2012.

  1. Bran2529

    Bran2529 New Egg

    Mar 29, 2012
    First off, let me say how excited I am that I have found this site! To fill you all in, I am a city person who recently purchased an acreage in July of 2011. In October, my parents friends gave me a hen (Henrietta) and a roo (Clyde) because their 20+ hens and roos would attack Henrietta and Clyde. These two were kept in a dog kennel away from the others and I felt really bad for them. So since I had a large chicken coop on my property, I offered to take them. Both of them are both Americacunas I believe and very friendly birds. Anyway, I am running into some situations and need some advice. Now I have few questions and need to know how to handle the situation.

    1. Back at the beginning of March, a local company was selling pullets and so I decided to purchase 11 to increase my flock. That same day a friend of mine wanted to purchase two for her two children to raise and then once they have matured, she wanted me to take them. I agreed, that would then make 13 total. Well, the next day my parents bought me 6 more not knowing that I had already purchased the 11 the previous day. This has now put me up to a grand total of 19 chicks, not including Clyde and Henrietta. I am happy to say that the 17 chicks that I have raised are doing excellent but the time has come for my friend to bring the two she has raise out to my acreage. I know there is going to be a “pecking order” when these two are introduced to the flock, but should I be concerned or doing anything special when introducing the birds? I don’t want any injuries.

    1. Henrietta started laying eggs back in February, three weeks ago she went broody. I candled the egg she was nesting and was able to determine it was a fertilized egg. Well, this past Friday the egg had hatched. I decided to leave the baby chick with my hen and would check on her daily. Yesterday I checked on her and found that the baby had died. Should I remove the chick when they are born and put them under a heat lamp or could this just been a isolated incident? Any recommendations?

    1. My 19 chicks are getting big and I would like to introduce them to Henrietta and Clyde. My two older ones are on onside of the coop w/chicken run while my chicks are kept in a separate room without a chicken run. I will let the chicks out to roam in the yard for some exploring and fresh air. Now Clyde will throw himself against the chicken wire to get at the babies. Some forums said to wait until the chicks are mature and they will defend themselves against my roo (Clyde). Should I be concerned with them meeting my older hen at all because she has never seen or met the chicks?

    Whew! That was a lot! So overall, my questions regard to 8 week old chicks being introduced to each other, introducing new chicks to older ones, and nesting with baby chicks. Any help on these would be greatly appreciated!!!
  2. Kevin565

    Kevin565 Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Dec 22, 2009
  3. Queen of the chickens

    Queen of the chickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 7, 2011
    Unionville, MO
    [​IMG]I can only respond to some of your questions and concerns, but I am sure there are others who will fill in the gaps. In my opinion it is best to introduce the two newbies to the rest at night after everyone has gone to sleep. Put them in the coop/brooder with them and then watch the next morning to see what their reaction is. I have had some that didn't seem to notice their new friends and some that enjoyed harassing the new kids for awhile, but it all got worked out without serious injury.

    Clyde and Henrietta are more likely to be a problem and cause more serious injury. Last year we put some 10 week old chicks in with a trio of Banties thinking they would be safe since they were close to the same size. Those poor chicks were really bullied, especially the cockerels. Eventually a peace of sorts was established. However, when the cockerels became mature, they cornered my banty roo and wouldn't let him out of that corner to eat or drink, so we had to divide that flock. I would suggest that you keep the adults and kiddos separate until you are sure the young ones can defend themselves.

    As for your broody hen, I would stay it was just bad luck. A chick will occasionally die and it probably had nothing to do with the mother. I'd say give her another chance.

    Hope this helps.
  4. Bran2529

    Bran2529 New Egg

    Mar 29, 2012
    Queen of the chickens, thank you so much for your advice! It would make sense to introduce the “newbies” at night since I have read that chickens have trouble seeing in darkness. This would allow the “newbies” to nest in for a good 10 hours (hopefully unnoticed) and by day light, the others may not even pay attention to them! But I will definitely keep an eye on them so the “newbies” aren’t getting bullied during the day.
    I am so glad to also hear that my actions of not removing the new born chick was result of her death. I will definitely allow her to sit on another and hopefully that outcome will be much better. And as far as Clyde and Henrietta, I guess they are going to have to wait a little longer to meet the chicks, maybe another 4-6 weeks. Just don’t want them to hurt one another. Once again, THANK YOU for your advice!!
  5. mkcolls

    mkcolls Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 13, 2011
    [​IMG] from Ohio!

    Queen gave you great advise about new chick introduction. Waiting for the young ones to get a bit older is wise.

    As for Henrietta's chick death, yes, chicks die, and Henrietta just started laying in Feb. so she is young. Our first broody this season pushed her live chick through a small hole in her nest and broke her neck. She was a pretty good brooder, we had to reminder her where she needed to be a couple of times by placing her back on her eggs, but she did not know what to do once the chicks started hatching. We ended up with the rest of her eggs in the incubator, and to a brooder. All but one of her eggs hatched and are doing great in the brooder.

    Our next broody hen, hatched 11 eggs. One died during zipping, and one died mid hatch. The remaining chicks are healthy, and Mama broody teaches them something new every day. Both of these hens were the same age, different breeds. I would break the first one if she goes broody again. I will use the second one to brood again. Just depends on the hen.

    We have learned something from each hatch, the hens seem to learn as they go also. I feel like I am back in school, Poultry University, (PU). LOL, that works! Chickens 101.

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