Incorporating new chicks to flock in the winter

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by snkjohnson, Oct 15, 2019.

  1. snkjohnson

    snkjohnson Chirping

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    Jul 10, 2013
    Hi! We got some brand new chicks about 4 weeks ago, they are getting their feathers and are still in their brooder. I'm wondering if anyone can give me tips on the best way to incorporate them into my flock in the winter. We have 8 hens that are about 8 months old, several varieties. Our new chicks are 2 cream legbars, 1 buff orpington and 1 barred plymouth rock.

    A few questions:
    1. When should I move them out?
    2. Do I need to keep them separated within the coop at first?
    3. What about the cold? We live in Northern Utah and it gets pretty cold, it's usually freezing or slightly below even right now at night--days are 50s-60s high. Fall was a big tease this year and it's cooling off quickly!
    4. Any other tips?

    I appreciate the help! I've had chickens before but I've never added new chicks, and I'm especially clueless about doing it in the fall/winter.
     
  2. azygous

    azygous Crossing the Road

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    Your chicks need no heat during the day at four weeks, so they can go outside immediately. Today would be a splendid day to begin. You need to begin acclimatizing them to cooler temps. If you've had heat on the chicks, turn it off.

    Set up a safe pen in the run for them to romp about in during the day, and take them back indoors at night. By five weeks, chicks no longer need heat at night under mild conditions. You should be able to move them into the coop by then if you have been getting them used to cooler temps. They may need a bit of heat at night in the coop for a week or so until they acclimate completely.

    With the older chickens, you will also need to undertake integration. Many of us use the "panic room" method - a safe pen with chick-size openings so the adults can't get inside. The chicks will be observing the temperaments of the older chickens for a week, and by the time you open their chick portals, they will know which ones pose a threat.

    Food and water will be inside this enclosure until the chicks outgrow the need for it by around ten weeks. Then I usually move food onto a shelf or camp table so the youngsters can eat in peace from harassment.
     
    Erba likes this.
  3. snkjohnson

    snkjohnson Chirping

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    Jul 10, 2013

    THANK YOU! I'll do all of those things. (-:
     

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