How do introduce my chicks with one of my hens?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Cowgirl101, Sep 26, 2015.

  1. Cowgirl101

    Cowgirl101 Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 2, 2014
    Plant city, Florida
    I have three hens right now and i just got 12 new chicks to add to the flock. i do have one hen that is kinda the mother hen out of all of them but im scared that she will kill the chicks. I wanted to introduce her to them and then after about a month i hoppe she will become their momma. i was thinking after that i could introduce them to the other hens and the new momma would protect them from the others. Any advice?
  2. appps

    appps Overrun With Chickens

    Aug 29, 2012
    Yeah that ain't gonna work lol

    The only time a hen will adopt chicks is if she has been sitting on eggs for a few weeks waiting for them to hatch and you sneak day old chicks under her at night so she thinks they hatched from her eggs. If she hasn't been already trying to hatch she will probably kill them or the cold will as they won't have a mother hen to hide under for warmth.

    You don't say how old your chicks are but if only tiny for the first little while they are going to need to be kept seperate with a heat lamp. If they are old enough to be off the heat then you should try and keep them where the others can see but not touch them. They need to stay there until a similar size to your existing ones so they are big enough to cope with the inevitable pecking that will happen when you put them all together. They will peck because that's how they work out who is in charge and who is at the bottom and none of them will want to be at the bottom.
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Here's some notes I've taken on integration that I found to be very helpful.......
    ......take what applies or might help and ignore the rest.
    See if any of them, or the links provided at the bottom, might offer some tips that will assist you in your situation:

    Integration of new chickens into flock.

    Consider medical quarantine:
    BYC Medical Quarantine Article
    Poultry Biosecurity
    BYC 'medical quarantine' search

    Confine new birds within sight but physically segregated from older/existing birds for several weeks, so they can see and get used to each other but not physically interact. Integrating new birds of equal size works best.

    For smaller chicks I used a large wire dog crate right in the coop for the smallers. I removed the crate door and put up a piece of wire fencing over the opening and bent up one corner just enough for the smallers to fit thru but the biggers could not. Feed and water inside the crate for the smallers. Make sure the smallers know how to get in and out of the crate opening before exposing them to the olders. this worked out great for me, by the time the crate was too small for the them to roost in there(about 3 weeks), they had pretty much integrated themselves to the olders.

    If you have too many smallers to fit in a crate you can partition off part of the coop with a wire wall and make the same openings for smallers escape.

    The more space, the better. Birds will peck to establish dominance, the pecked bird needs space to get away. As long as there's no blood drawn and/or new bird is not trapped/pinned down, let them work it out. Every time you interfere or remove new birds, they'll have to start the pecking order thing all over again.

    Multiple feed/water stations. Dominance issues are most often carried out over sustenance, more stations lessens the frequency of that issue.

    Places for the new birds to hide out of line of sight and/or up and away from any bully birds.

    In adjacent runs, spread scratch grains along the dividing mesh, best of mesh is just big enough for birds to stick their head thru, so they get used to eating together.

    Another option, if possible, is to put all birds in a new coop and run, this takes the territoriality issues away.

    Read up on integration..... BYC advanced search>titles only>integration
    This is good place to start reading:
  4. Cowgirl101

    Cowgirl101 Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 2, 2014
    Plant city, Florida
    I got them saturday so they are 5 days old.
  5. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    Do not put them with the hen. She will kill them.

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