How to introduce week old chick to year old one?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Suzy W, Jul 17, 2010.

  1. Suzy W

    Suzy W Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 8, 2009
    One of our two chickens died. The one still living, Little Miss Sunshine, is very depressed, and I need to get her a friend. A neighbor is getting chicks on Thursday, and I'm taking one from his group. After a few weeks in the brooder I was going to house the new chick in a run beside Sunshine's for a week or two so they can size each other up, then introduce them.

    Two questions:

    Is it possible to put a newborn directly in with our adult female, or do we run the risk of having Sunshine peck her to death?

    Secondly, will our newborn do ok in a brooder by herself?

    Thanks, Suzy
  2. Opa

    Opa Opa-wan Chickenobi

    May 11, 2008
    Howell Michigan
    Sometimes a broody hen will accept to young chick, but I'd be leery of a non broody hen.
  3. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    She will probably kill her. Adult hens often attack chicks that are not theirs, if they are not already broody themselves, and even then sometimes they will anyway. You can't really do it unless she is broody.

    I've seen two broodies with their various babies meet in the yard and each will chase and peck chicks belonging to the other hen.
  4. Matt A NC

    Matt A NC Overrun With Chickens

    Feb 22, 2007
    Morganton, NC
    Get just one will be bad. You will need at least 2 unless you can be there with it 24/7.

    Putting them with a full grown hen would be a death sentence. They need to be at least half grown or almost grown before I would risk it.

  5. ranchhand

    ranchhand Rest in Peace 1956-2011

    Aug 25, 2008
    I have to agree that the chick will be killed. I never introduce the younger ones to the flock until grown, and even that goes after a month or more of introduction time.
  6. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 23, 2009
    Is there any way that you can get two chicks, rather than one? That way you'd not have to worry about one lonely chick in a brooder, plus you'd be possibly avoiding the same problem in the future that you have right now. When you only have two chickens and one dies, the one left behind is very lonely.

    Your idea to house them separately, but within view of each other, for a period is a good one. However, I wouldn't integrate an immature and much smaller chicken in with an adult without supervision. I've been letting my 11 week olds free range with my adult hens for a few weeks, and occasionally in daytime when I can keep a good eye on them, I'll put them in the same tractor. I'm watching to make sure I see only the normal pecking order squabbles and nothing worse. The youngsters are by now almost as large as my smallest hen, anyway. They'll be ready to be completely integrated within the next month, I think.

    Good luck!
  7. MareeZoCool

    MareeZoCool Chillin' With My Peeps

    [​IMG] Keep that young chick isolated for at least 1 month. just to be sure neither chicken has any sickness to share. Then, put the small chick inside a cage with your older bird, keeping them seperate & together at the same time. Give them a few days & nights together, then let the little one out of the small cage & see how the two do together. You might have no problems.[​IMG] GOOD LUCK!
  8. donniedodgen

    donniedodgen New Egg

    Jun 13, 2010
    [​IMG]i all ways keep all my small in cage and as they get off of the light i open the door and put steps ro a clild gate grard so they can get in and out.i all so got things so the small ones can get away from the bigger ones. the biger ones dont seem to notice.the exter brids any more.[​IMG][​IMG]:jumpy:yiipchick
  9. arch_cpj

    arch_cpj Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 19, 2010
    medina county
    I also wait until they are pretty grown... I also spray em with a protective coating of no peck seems to help... Ive found introducing a larger group say 6 - 10 at a time is better than one....
  10. one shot

    one shot New Egg

    Jun 14, 2010
    Elk Grove
    I also have a established flock of 2 barred rocks and 2 rhode island reds that are 10 weeks old. To make a long story short, I acquired 2 more barred rocks and 2 ameraucanas. There ages are 3 weeks. The new ones I had for about 2 weeks now. I have the babies in a run next to the the older girls run during the warm days. My coop is large enough so that I have been able to create a mini coop inside the big coop just for the babies. I figure this way I can keep them separated but yet close enough so that hopefully when they get a bit bigger I can integrate them all together with out much squawking. Even at 10 weeks the pecking order has been established, which makes this job a bit more difficult. I guess what I'm saying is Time, Patience, and prayer.

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