Intergrating hens and their chicks?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Kaitie09, Aug 14, 2011.

  1. Kaitie09

    Kaitie09 Songster

    May 28, 2009
    South Central, PA
    I have two moms with their chicks in a separate pen right now. One hen has a 2-3 week old while the other has 2, 1 week olds. They seem to be raising them together. The one mom is very nice, while the other is mean to anyone that get near the babies. They are starting to outgrow the little pen that was only meant for 2.

    I was wondering when we can add them to the flock. We had a problem with our ducks killing newly hatch ones( we lost 2 that were barely a couple hours old), so that is why they were not in there. The ducks went to my uncle's pond today after killing 2, 12 week old pullets. The other chickens are fine with newcomers and luckily enough, the mean mom is normally the mean one when we add other chickens in. The rooster does not even seem to notice when another hen is added and he thinks all of them are his right away.

    They all did fine when we added 2, 6 week olds (the two that were killed by the ducks). There was only a little pecking to establish order, but for the most part, they were left alone.

    These chicks have not seen the sky since they were born, and the hens are starting to try to get out whenever I open the door.
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2011

  2. Judy

    Judy Crowing Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    You can try it; chickens are individuals, and you never know. The recommended, safe way is to wait til all are about the same size. You could also try it right now, in the hope that the mamas will do their job and protect the youngsters from the other hens (hopefully the roos will not be a problem.) I've let several mamas raise their chicks in with the flock, either from hatch or from about day 2 or 3, and the chicks have done fine on their own when the mamas decided they didn't want to be mamas any more. Not that this is any guarantee it will work, of course.

    This link is more about adding adult birds from off your property, but maybe it will be helpful, anyway:

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