How to add new chicks?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by brandola, Dec 25, 2015.

  1. brandola

    brandola Out Of The Brooder

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    One of the perks of our odd warm Christmas here in Georgia has been letting my (3) 5 week old chicks out in the day with the rest of the flock (7) . Started this today for a few hours. Was really surprised that for the most part the others ignored the chicks. No chasing or fluffed feathers. Gonna increase time together for next couple weeks as weather permits until they just stay altogether. Is this acceptable?
     
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Sits With Chickens Premium Member

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    That's exactly how I do it, it's the best way of introducing new ones.
     
  3. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master Premium Member

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    I want to see what the experienced folks recommend. [​IMG]

    All I can find is to delay introduction until they are basically grown - Hope there is a way to add them much earlier.

    Will follow and see if we can get some tips.
     
  4. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master Premium Member

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    Really, so glad to hear that. (I'm hoping to expand 2016 [​IMG])

    How old is the youngest newbies you have added to a grown flock?

    Would you give specifics on your set up ( coop/run size, free range or not? and the number of established and new ones you have added.
     
  5. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Sits With Chickens Premium Member

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    I get my chicks in late spring so it's warming up and drying out by the time I'm ready to move them to the coop, depending on the temperature outside I put them in the same shed as the older ones at 6-8 weeks, when I no longer need to provide heat, in my large fowl shed I have a coop within the shed that I put the chicks in and keep them penned for about a week until they are comfortable, in my bantam coop they go into a wire circle. I start letting them out of confinement after they look more comfortable in their new pen, starting for short times than lengthening how long they are out until I'm just locking them up at night, mine all free range so they travel further every day. The adult chickens mostly ignore the chicks because it's a normal thing for chicks to show up in a flock, they occasionally peck them but I've never had anyone go after them, that first week of lock up helps for the adults to get used to seeing them.Then one day I stop locking them up and they are on their own, usually by 4-5 months.

    I have around 15-20 bantam who have their own coop and around 30-40 large breed, they all free range, my large fowl are in a 40x40 pole shed, the bantam have about 8x10. I mostly introduce groups of 8-15 in the large fowl, and 3-6 in my bantam every couple of years.
     
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  6. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master Premium Member

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    @brandola Would you describe your coop/run set up - established flock size and age & if they free range?

    Not trying to take over your thread, but want to see you successful and hope the experience will apply to those of us with smaller coop/runs and lack of free ranging opportunity.
    Please let us know what you are trying and how it works out.

    @oldhenlikesdogs Thanks for the description. It seems that folks with larger, multiple coops and free ranging space have an easier time than those of us without that "luxury".
     
  7. brandola

    brandola Out Of The Brooder

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    I have a 8 x 14 coop/run plus a fenced in yard around that. They also free range most days. Chickens range from 2.5 year old RIR to 6 month old EE. My chicks are Buff Orps. With chicks included we have 10 chickens.
     
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Do the chicks have a 'safe place' to go if they do get picked on?
    Maybe a wire dog crate with food/water/wind shelter and door opening that only they can get thru?
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2015
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  9. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    How are you managing the chicks in the coop? Or are you bringing them back into the brooder at night?

    They could be moved into the coop now, as long as they have a safe area to duck into if the pecking order becomes too intense. Seven adults against three chicks requires some sort of panic room or you risk a chick being trapped by an adult in the coop and being savaged.

    Are the chickens strictly free-range in your yard? What are you doing to provide a feeding station for the chicks in order that they don't have to compete for essentials? This is crucial or your chicks will probably not get enough to eat. Speaking of food, have you switched to an all-flock grower ration so the chicks aren't exposed to excessive amounts of calcium? They shouldn't have layer feed until they start to lay.

    I set up a safe pen in my run with chick food and water inside and access that's too small for the adults to fit. You've been lucky so far mingling the chicks with the adults, but I wouldn't press it if I were you.
     
  10. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master Premium Member

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    You do have a nice amount of area to work with ( much more than me). And the free ranging will help so much.

    When the grown ups are free ranging they will likely show no interest in the little ones - but if confined together in the coop/run or competing for treats/food then the battles will show up.
    And BO's are not likely to be bold enough to stand up to even one of the elders.

    IMO - supervise with a water spray in your hand ( incase of any aggression) - add them a safe place in the coop/run to board separately until they are older - the "see but don't touch". And only let them out when you are immediately present. When all are locked into the coop/run you may see the aggressive moves and wait until those die out to try for real integration.
     

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