Flock intro advice

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by blatham00, Mar 2, 2017.

  1. blatham00

    blatham00 Out Of The Brooder

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    My little peep is now 3 weeks old. I was wondering when would be a good time to let it start meeting the rest of the flock? It has lived in the brooder with mom and can be seen by my other chickens. I tried to introduce them when he was a few days old and my roo was very mean to him. I know some pecks are to be expected but I don't want it injured. Is it big enough to withstand my roo or should I wait a while longer? I hate keeping mom and baby in the pen all the time while the others free range.
     
  2. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    This is going to be a question only you can answer. My roo loves his babies, and is a good daddy. He would never show aggression to his babies. Perhaps your roo has a screw loose.
     
  3. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    Some roosters are not nice. I usually keep my broody and chicks separated by a wire fence for the first 1-2 weeks. Usually after 2 weeks the chicks can dodge the other birds. I always supervise the first few days after releasing them to make sure the chicks are keeping up and keeping away. If I'm uncomfortable with some interactions I lock them back up at night and let them out when I can watch until I feel it's going okay.
     
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  4. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    Maybe you need to segregate your jerk of a rooster for the next month until the broody and her chick re-enter the flock and get re-settled.

    A broody and her chick should safely be able to mingle with the flock by the time a chick is two weeks old. Broodies are generally fiercely protective of their chicks and the rest of the flock respects this. Should any chicken get out of line and look cross-eyed at her chick, a good broody should put them in their place.

    After your broody and her chick become established in the flock again, you might let the rooster out and watch him like a hawk. Be ready to send him back to lockup if necessary.
     
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  5. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    Or to freezer camp. I'd not put up with a roo who is a chick abuser.
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2017
  6. LovelyChicks130

    LovelyChicks130 Just Hatched

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    I don't tolerate roosters who chase off anyone. They hit the stump. But if the litle one is that little, usually segregating them until they are bigger is for the best.
     
  7. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    It's tempting to keep a broody and chicks separate from the flock for safety reasons, but in doing so, they are deprived of being integrated into the flock. A baby chick needs to be able to get to know its flock and each individual. The flock needs to get to know the chick(s) and that they're flock members. Suddenly introducing chicks after they've reached a larger size sets them up for being considered a threat since the flock thinks they're strangers. Instead of gradually being assimilated into the flock, the chicks are faced with the conflict of the pecking order, trying to fit in.

    Last summer, my star broody Linda, a six-year old Speckled Sussex, brooded and raised a single chick. I had my misgivings as to how well this chick would be able to adjust to being the only chick in a flock of two dozen adult chickens. Since chicks derive their self confidence from being part of a larger chick "unit", I thought this chick would struggle to adjust and would have a big self confidence deficit.

    I was astounded as to how well Linda schooled her chick as to flock protocol and that chick was as tough and independent and self confident as I could ever dream to hope for. Being raised in the flock by her mama, she knew no fear, understood all the individual temperaments of the flock, and a year later, she's as tough as nails, just like her broody mama.

    Don't underestimate a broody. They know what they're doing.
     
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  8. LovelyChicks130

    LovelyChicks130 Just Hatched

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    If they can see each other though....and get used to each other. But until the little one grows bigger, I keep separate.
     
  9. blatham00

    blatham00 Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks! I don't know why he acted like that. He's a good rooster. Very friendly and takes good care of his hens. I think I will try to let them all out to free range this weekend when I can moniter them and see how it goes. The Hens all acted fine. But my roo was not so nice.
     
  10. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    Some roosters have no idea what a chick is the first time they see them, and he does his job of attacking an intruder. Most get wiser after having chicks in the group and will than start to try to take care of them. If a rooster never saw a chick before how is he supposed to know what they are? A seasoned mature rooster would be gone if he goes after chicks every year, but younger ones get a reprieve.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2017
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