How to introduce new chicks to the "gang"...

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by wvchickenhouse, Dec 21, 2011.

  1. wvchickenhouse

    wvchickenhouse Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 14, 2011
    Pax, WV
    I have 1 Americauna EE & 2 Silkies that hatched a few weeks ago. I've got a few questions.

    They are still under a brooder light and in a big tub. When can they go outside and will the other chickens accept them? The rest are 1 Roo and 5 Leghorn Hens that are 8 months old.

    My plan was to keep the Silkies separate but I have the 1 Americauna to deal with who has been raised so far with the Silkies. Anyone got any tips? Thanks a bunch!

    Will the silkies always have to be kept separate? They are sooo cute! and my Americauna thinks I'm its mommy!
  2. redhen009

    redhen009 Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 21, 2011
    I'm glad to hear about the new chicks. Now, the advice I am giving you comes from a magazine I read, they say to wait until it is night time to introduce new members that will be joining the flock. They say to put the new members up on the roosting bar with the others. So, when they wake up they won't be suspicious of the new arrivals. It says the chickens think since I woke up with you here, it means I slept with you here and so you must be apart of the flock. Like I said earlier - I have never done this. I read that it works and I thought I should pass this on to you. Now for letting them outside, I waited until mine were 6-8 weeks old and I let them play in the yard for a few hours then I took them back inside. This was mainly just for predators and my coop was not finished. We put ours in the coop as soon as the paint smells were gone which was about 12 weeks old. I would also "stand guard" for the first while. There are many predators that will want to munch on the little guys. So, just be ready to take action if you notice some dogs or things like around. Just because you don't want bad things to happen to them. Best wishes to you and your flock. Hope this helps!
  3. BlazeJester

    BlazeJester Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 2, 2011
    Midway, GA
    A lot of people will put the chicks out when fully feathered (~8wks; in winter it may need to be after that) in a dog crate or other area fenced off from the flock but in the run/area where the older chickens have time to see them and get used to their presence. Often this stage lasts a month or so. Then, when the chicks are big enough to fend for themselves (~12+ weeks; more or less depending on specific breed & temperament of the group), incorporate them at night.

    Apparently this has everything to do with the flock you are introducing to. My mom's 2.5yr-old barred rocks were NOT tolerant of the newcomers I raised for her and it took over a month for them to stop pecking the young ones at every opportunity. After a week of face time in an add-on to the original run, they were not introduced at night... but the roosts wouldn't allow that anyway. I brought them to her when the girls were 17 weeks old.

    So... whenever you have to, but I'd give the young ones as much time as possible to match the big kids' size. Preferably in sight/contact with the established flock.
  4. ChickDaze

    ChickDaze Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 1, 2011
    Wish I'd known to introduce them at night. Then I might not have lost that EE.

    I separated my five week old chicks from the two two month older ones with a "cage". I let them explore the coop with the elders outside, and kept them separated for a long while unless I was standing over them and ready to intervene. After about a week, I started to leave just long enough to fill the water founts. About two days later, I let them spend the day together with a retreat available. About a week after that, I left them to their own devices.

    Keep in mind that they were five weeks old when they went out in JULY with most of the feathers in. And also that they got bigger than their conterparts rather quickly.

    I can't tell you how to incorporate them in the winter, but I can tell you that in May, four weeks works (I miscounted the age). Try slowly introducing them to the outside for increasing intervals. Thats what I've read on here anyway.

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