How do I integrate these chicks of various ages/origins with the flock


14 Years
Jan 13, 2010
Fairfield, Maine
My Coop
My Coop
I have a divided brooder, - one side is three, 4-week old EE chicks from the feedstore, other side is nine 1-week old chicks I hatched in the incubator. My original intention was to eventually remove the divider in the brooder, but looking at their size difference now, I think it will take at least another week before the week-old chicks can mix with the others. I wanted to combine them in the brooder at some point, because I only have one sectioned off area of the coop in which to raise them (before introducing them to the one-year old flock).
Meanwhile, I have a broody raising one chick, also a week old. The mama hen was beginning to integrate her chick with the flock, but the chick was attacked by our leghorn. The mama hen tried to defend it, but the chick ended out with a gash on it's chest. I now have the mama hen and chick occupying the one sectioned off area of the coop, as I don't trust the other hens around the injured (but recovering) chick.

My questions:
- Is it possible to combine 2-week old chicks with larger 5-week old chicks in the brooder?
- How long will the mama hen be interested in raising her chick?
- Do you think at say, 4 weeks old, I can move the mama back with the flock, but keep her chick with the other chicks the same age?

I plan to keep the brooder chicks separate from the flock until they are grown and able to defend themselves. I don't think mama hen will want 12 other chicks moving into their enclosure, but I am afraid to put her and her baby back in with the nasty leghorn. Will she lose interest in raising her chick at some point? How would you handle this situation?

Thank you for any advice!

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