Intergrating new chicks to existing flock??

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Doormantnt, Apr 5, 2011.

  1. Doormantnt

    Doormantnt Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 4, 2009
    Glen Burnie, MD
    Figure I'll come to the experts.

    I have 5 of my existing feed store hens that will be 2 yrs old this spring. And I just hatched out 14 of 17 dominiques that I got from a friend.

    I have the room in the coop, and run. Actually will have when I put an addition on coop (in progress). So out of the 14 day olds in basement brooder, hopefully at least half are hens. I have no need or desire to keep any roosters.

    But my question is How do I get the older girls to accept the chicks? I know it'll be month or so till feathered out, and can take outside. I will build a temparory coop (probably A frame or hoop) but it would have to be temp, no room for another permant coop. They have to get along eventually. So do I let the older hens meet and greet thru the fence of the temp coop for a while before total free range? If so how long? I know common sense, just watch reactions. But any tips of the trade are welcome.

    Thanks in advance for input.

  2. ChickenCrazy4ever

    ChickenCrazy4ever Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 26, 2011
    My house :D
    My friends had to introduce new birds to their old flock as well. To avoid having the chickens peck each other apart, she put the new birds in a dog crate inside the run containing the other chickens for a while. Now they all live together peacefully.
  3. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

    Feb 24, 2009
    Strasburg Ohio
    You've got the right idea.....Use that temporary A-frame to let them see eachother, but no touching......Those hens would tear those young chicks apart........I always wait until my chicks are fully grown in size before I introduce them to my established hens.......I've got a baby coop (separate A-frame), and then the big girl coop.......When the younger ones are full size, I let them free range together at first....Then eventually, they all end up in the big coop. It works well.
  4. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

  5. briteday

    briteday Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 16, 2008
    Northern NV
    All of the above...looky, no touchy until they are all the same size. Then when I decide on the day to integrate them in one coop(usually around 14-5 weeks old before the new ones would be laying, but give them enough time to settle in so they start laying soon) I put the new birds on the roost after dark. I've never had a problem doing it this way. There will always be a pecking order when the dynamics change in any flock. But it seems like the chickens all wake up in the morning, look at each other, and just assume that they must have been missing all of these new friends all along and accept them.
  6. itsiebitsiefarm

    itsiebitsiefarm Professional Egg Stacker

    Dec 31, 2010
    Lake Wales, FL
    Quote:X 2
  7. Country Heart

    Country Heart City Girl With A

    Quote:X 2

    Yep - this is how it's done. [​IMG]
  8. Doormantnt

    Doormantnt Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 4, 2009
    Glen Burnie, MD
    Thank you all for the replies, and reassurance. It is just so much easier to ask the experienced, then by trial and error.

    Thanks again.

  9. maresdestiny

    maresdestiny New Egg

    Mar 14, 2015
    Hey everyone. Been awhile since I posted. I got 4 well summer chicks in April and just put them outside with my 3 Reds last night after my Reds were perched for the night. First light this morning I went to check on them and one of my Reds was attacking them so I removed her and brought her in the house and put her in the dog crate that the chicks were in. I was told if I remove the aggressive one for a few days, she will be re-introduced as a new comer and her pecking order rank will have dropped and she won't attack the younger ones. I don't know how true this is but I guess we will find out. I'll let you know how it goes in a couple days.
  10. kdemamiel

    kdemamiel Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 8, 2015
    did that work? I have 12 week old chicks in a cage in my coop and in the afternoon I have been letting them all free range together . I have one Red that everyday runs into the coup and pecks the chicks.

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