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How to manage my chicks and where to put them

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by vinda, Aug 6, 2014.

  1. vinda

    vinda In the Brooder

    Jun 4, 2014
    Hi everyone :)

    Ive been keeping chickens since February and started off with a flock of four. One of my hens went broody and I put 6 eggs under her - only one hatched and is now about 6 weeks old.

    In the meantime another of my hens went broody and this time I got 2 little chickies who are about 2 weeks old.

    I think the hen of the older chick is getting ready to rejoin the flock and leave her chick behind - I have the two of them in a separate run from the others and she has started trying to get out this week, and when I take her out for her daily break she doesnt try to get back to the chick at all anymore. She has also started laying eggs again yesterday. Do you think she is ready to leave as I dont want to do this too early.

    Also Im really not sure what to do with the lonesome chick. My options are to let it integrate with the existing flock or else to try to integrate it with the new chicks and their mum. I leaning towards the second option as there is only one hen as opposed to putting it in with 3 big hens plus the mum, I was thinking about doing this over night so they get used to each other's smells etc. The new chicks and mum are in a brooder but I could move them to the other run as I did this with the other ones at 2 weeks.

    Any suggestions would be great :)

  2. Judy

    Judy Crowing Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    The mama who has started laying again is definitely ready to part with her chick and return to the flock. This is also why she wasn't trying to get back with her chick when you let her out of her pen.

    There are really only two good times to integrate a chick to a flock, IMO. One is at hatch, letting the mama raise her chicks in with the rest of the flock, so that they are already accepted when mama is through with them. The other time is when they are the same size as the mature ones, or nearly so. It's a good idea to let them live right next to each other for a few weeks, with a fence between. If the brood pen was right next to the flock, it's possible the rest of them will accept the chick now, but I would supervise closely.

    If you put the lone chick with the new mum, the most likely thing is she will attack it.

    In the end, though, every chicken and every flock is different. You will just have to try different things til you find something that works.

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