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how do I ad new chickens to the old?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Old Macdonald, Apr 17, 2012.

  1. Old Macdonald

    Old Macdonald Hatching

    Mar 15, 2012
    I have 5 chickens that are 7 weeks old. 2 RR, 1 BB plymouth rock and one black sex link. I think the BB might be a roo. it's more dominant than the others and after looking on another post, I think one of the RR's is also a roo. I also have 6 more one week old chicks. 3 polish crested and 3 from the assorted rare breed bin at orschlin's. I think they are easter eggers because they have little muffs on there cheeks. so how long should I wait before introducing the youngsters to the other flock? How do I do that? The coop is out in an old horse dry lot that is completely fenced off. the older birds free range it and coop up at night. they have the run of the place and the horses and dogs keep predators at bay. My biggest concern is this: will the bigger birds beat up on the smaller ones? I'm in Kentucky and in about 3 weeks the weather will be perfect for the chickens. already it's getting very nice during the day and I don't want this brood box on my dining room table anymore, the fiancee might be getting tired of seeing/smelling it. help!

  2. lalaland

    lalaland Crowing

    Sep 26, 2008
    Pine County MN
    Best bet is to put the young chicks inside an enclosure inside the pen where the teenagers are. What you are trying to accomplish is letting them see each other, but not get at each other. Sometimes you can use chickenwire, a wire cage, etc to separate them out.

    After a couple of days, when you have time to do this, let the little ones loose. You need to supervise this, it will probably go fine but you have to be ready to intervene if it doesn't. You want there to be plenty of room for the littles to get away, you want barriers to hide behind or to be out of sight (haybales, crates, etc).

    Expect some pecking, chasing, etc. If an older one really goes after a little one, you may need to intervene - if so, separate everyone again and try again a couple of days later.

    Keep an eye out for anyone getting picked on too much - feather loss, etc. I have had to use duct tape to cover up bare skin (sounds awful but works great) just once in 12 years of chickens. And that happened with the same age group, just had an extremely docile pullet who wouldn't defend herself.

    Good luck!

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