Flock introduction two new chick flocks & then Mama- long


10 Years
Apr 26, 2009

I've been lurking here for some months and have enjoyed this site very much. I've learned quite a lot looking around and reading.
We are on a small hobby farm property outside of London, Ontario, surrounded by Cash crop and cattle fields. My flock is as follows; I have 5, 3-4 year old chickens I ordered from Frey's in 2006, they are: One Barred Rock Rooster- Moe (Pictured in my avatar) , and two Harco Sex Link, (stupid and unnamed) one Columbian Rock X Red (Lace) and two barred rock hens (Pip & Meanie) I'd like to get more heritage chickens, but I'm really happy with the little group I have now.
I really like chickens...

This spring I obtained three or four RIR day olds, ( I'm wondering if one is a rooster) and one RIRXColumbian Rock, three more Barred rocks and a pile of Banty chicks.
They are still in the process of being named...I really like Chickens...and yes I quarintiened;)

The mother of the Banty chicks looks like she is pure Barred Rock banty and the father is a dark speckled rooster, maybe a Japanese Bantam. The fun thing about the Banties is they came with "mother Hubbard" as we affectionately call her now. She raised all 13 chicks (we sadly lost one). I had two brooder boxes going at the same time, one with the Standard chicks in it and the other with Mother Hubbard and her brood.

I've seperated Mother Hubbard from the chicks at about 6 weeks old (when they feathered out) and put her chicks in with the Standard chicks, in their new coop my DH built for me. Both batches of chicks are two weeks apart, and they are all getting on well now, flock is established etc..

I'd like to put Mother Hubbard back with the young brids, but I don't know how to quite do this, as I'm not completely sure she would hurt the chicks that aren't hers, (if she remembers hers) and she's started another clutch of eggs about four days ago. I found a nest in her half dog house shelter in her outside run this morning. The eggs are not fertilized since she isn't with a rooster at the moment- Sadly.

I'm new to broody hens, and she seems like a darling little mother.
To ease the transistion of her to the new chicks and her own again- I've been putting her out in the run next to the chicks, for the past week or so, (fenced off) so they get used to each other (like you're suppose to do). The run the chicks will have is fairly big so if she went after any young chicks they would have apple room to escape. I'd like her to use the new coop with the younger chicks, so she will start laying her eggs in the coop rather than the house she's got outside. She goes in a brooder box at night for the moment, I've got a small animal crate in there for her to lay but she's not laying in that at all. I've taken her clutch of four away for now, but I'm thinking I should put them back in her crate in the brooder box.

Any ideas on how to introduce her to the young chicks - am I doing the right thing? The youngest birds are Standard RIR and they are 7 weeks old yesterday. I'm thinking it may be too soon still....
I know I have a lot of things going on right now. I'm not even *thinking* about introducing to the older flock at the moment...

Sexing the Banties has been interesting, only three of the 12 banties are crowing at 9 weeks. I wonder if more will start or if they are pullets? Is there a standard age when roos start crowing? It seems to me that only the Barred rock coloured banties are crowing, the other chicks are black chicks with white flecks on their necks, and one white chick with half a black feather tail (Peep) I wondered if the Barred rocks are sexed as roos and the rest are pullets. Any thoughts?

Barbara Brown
AAC Registrar
[email protected]
Farm's Pride English Shepherds

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