Integrating baby chicks with 3 year old hen

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by heatheramack, Sep 29, 2012.

  1. heatheramack

    heatheramack Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 25, 2008
    New Orleans, LA
    We lost a hen last week and now our backyard flock is down to one 3 year old hen. I want to do whatever is best for her, she's a sweety. We don't want to her get lonely.
    I have no idea what to do next, so I'm brainstorming.
    We were thinking of getting 4-5 female chicks and letting her raise them. But, she's never gone broody before and I don't know if that matters. She was a bit more timid than her sister, but after a week on her own, now that she's not being overshadowed, she's more outgoing.

    What is the likelihood of her successfully integrating with some new chicks? She's regular size, we might need to get bantams this time if we want that many hens to fit comfortably in the run once they are grown.
    Is it a longshot? Is there a much more obvious solution that I haven't recognized? If we go ahead with this, should we introduce them by putting the chicks in a small carrier/cage and putting that into the run, while we supervise, so they can be in each other's space without direct contact? Would it work if we got bantam chicks or should we try to get even fewer chicks that will grow to be full size?

    I could really use some guidance. Thank you so much!!
  2. debid

    debid Overrun With Chickens

    Jan 20, 2011
    middle TN
    There's just no way to know how she'll react. It's doubtful that she'll mother them since she isn't broody now nor has she ever been. She might attack them or she might just let them know she's boss but then tolerate them sharing her space.

    I'd suggest checking around locally (there are boards here to help you find BYC people in your area) for a couple of older pullets. Fully-grown or nearly-grown birds will be better company for her.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by