I want to introduce new chicks to already established flock, need advice.

wyandottes4Joe

In the Brooder
7 Years
May 20, 2012
11
0
22
I have 10 hens and one rooster. They are all gold laced wyandottes. I have about a dozen eggs in an incubator and am planning on introducing those chicks into the flock. At what age would the chicks need to be? Should I be worried about the hens or rooster being overly aggressive with the new pullets? I had a hen get broody and raise some chicks but that was easy because she took good care of them. This is obviously a different situation. Also, do you are anybody you know vaccinate for merricks or any other disease? Thanks.
 

OreoPlymothRock

Songster
7 Years
Apr 3, 2012
995
12
113
Florida
i dont know about the disease part, but i do know that you would want to let the newly hatched chicks establish their own flock and then when they start getting bigger, the first flocks pecking order will be threatened by the other flock, so the newly hatched flock will then be involved in the first flock and then there is one big flock. Thats what happened when we had 3 barred rocks and 2 golden sexlinks but the barred rocks were older and the sexlinks where younger so the sexlinks established their own flock and then the 3 barred rock pecking order was threatened so they all came together and restarted the pecking order and now they are all one flock. Hope this Helps.
 

Achickenwrangler#1

Songster
8 Years
Aug 7, 2011
2,431
102
183
west virginia
Without the broody hen I would keep them apart till at least four to six weeks, by then you'll know if they aren't healthy. I don't vaccinate or medicate, I let nature select. I am not in an area where disease is prevalent and the wild birds are thriving. Also at that age they can take the inevitable peck or three, and i throw scratch so they have to mingle.
 

Smarcebird

In the Brooder
8 Years
Jul 18, 2011
75
0
31
Durango, CO
We tried to introduce 4, 7wk old chicks to an established flock of 8 hens. It went badly.

After 2 weeks of seeing each other through wire and free ranging successfully together, we thought we could slip them in to the big coop at night. First morning was fine, all out to free range. Second morning they scalped one of the chicks clean. So sad. Back to separation. Somehow another got out of the wire and met with the same end. Plenty of room for everyone, maybe my girls just are a little bloodthirsty. :(

Gave the remaining two to a friends new flock. Too much drama. I thought it would be easier. Another friend waits until the new chicks are laying before introducing. Any advice here will be much appreciated by me too.

Good luck. Didn't mean for it to be a scare, but just my story.
 

Achickenwrangler#1

Songster
8 Years
Aug 7, 2011
2,431
102
183
west virginia
I think the most important part is space and obstacles in that space, with out the broody I would go at six weeks, my four weeker are now weaned by broody but she did her job, and they are in with the flock. Or rather busy staying out of the way. If there is no where to run or hide or dodge the big birds someone can get hurt. Chicks can and do scream bloody murder when getting pecked, then go on like nothing happened, yet keep one eye on the elders. You do need to know the dynamics of the flock. If your not really sure, hold off till they have some size and feathers, they are pretty tough but with chickens, practically anything can happen
 

crescentloft

In the Brooder
7 Years
Mar 4, 2012
10
0
22
Tampa Bay Area Florida
It is not a good idea to introduce chicks to a flock of established hens. You are setting yourself up for heartbreak. Without a broody hen to protect them I would not introduce them until they are large enough maybe 5 months old to have a chance and even then would introduce them in a neutral area such as the yard where they have places to hide from aggressive hens.
 

New2TheCoop

Songster
8 Years
Feb 5, 2011
364
2
113
Central, LA
I put four 5 week chicks in with my established flock of 9 hens & 1 rooster. I put the chicks in a dog crate (the one they were brooded in) for a month, when the big chickens would free range I would let them out in the coop and the run. They have been out for a little over 2 months and I don't have any problems at all. Perhaps it's just luck. All chickens are different just like people, everyone isnt going to get a long. Hope this helps, good luck!
 

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