Intoducing new chicks to existing flock

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Baxter's Chickens, Feb 19, 2013.

  1. Baxter's Chickens

    Baxter's Chickens Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 8, 2011
    Hi all, I am sure there have been threads about this already, but I cannot find any!
    We have 4 girls that will be two years old. They have been raised together and get along great with each other, us and our dog.
    They have a pen but free range around the yard during the day.
    We are hoping to get two new chicks this spring. They will of course,be in the brooder for the first few weeks.
    I would like help on planning to introduce the new babies to the girls.
    Any suggestions?
  2. SmallFlocker207

    SmallFlocker207 Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 9, 2013
    i have 27 laying hens that lay hard and heavy. i sell eggs to family and friends and provide a healthy egg supply to my family and friends. I recently got 23 jersey giant chicks to add to the flock. I would add them VERY SLOWLY (Like one a night). Put one bird in every night when the chicks reach 2 and a half months old. hope this helps.
  3. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Chicken Obsessed

    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    I would do just the opposite, add them all at once in the night, it spreads out the pecking, the hens know there are new ones, but there are so many on hen does not get all the pecking.

    But the big one, is to wait..... and wait...... and wait, til the chicks are VERY close to full size.

  4. Michael Apple

    Michael Apple Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 6, 2008
    Northern California
    Whew! I was glad to see you mentioned that.[​IMG] Putting chicks out with adults after the"first few weeks" made me nervous.
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2013
  5. western edge

    western edge Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 5, 2010
    Edge of the Bakken
    Nice way to put it MrsK. I may have said " if you put chicks in with adult chickens they will be lunch".
  6. Baxter's Chickens

    Baxter's Chickens Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 8, 2011
    Thank you all. We will plan to keep them in for at least 8 or 9 weeks. I have heard that putting them in at night when the older ones are sleeping is a good idea. It will be a long night for me. I am really nervous, In would like two more, but wonder if it is worth it, seems so hard on the little ones.
  7. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    Small flocks can be the hardest to integrate new birds into. But, if you give everyone plenty of time to get used to each other before putting the new ones in the coop you can really minimize stress on all of them and yourself as well! What works really well is if you can section off part of the run for the new birds so that when they are old enough to go outside the older birds can start seeing them around during the day. My new chicks are raised in a grow out pen with their own little coop right alongside the older girls. The older birds see them all day, every day from the time the youngsters are about 5 weeks old. I don't let them mingle until the chicks are almost full grown. When they are about 15 weeks old I start letting them out to free range with the older birds and at that point pecking is really minimal. Just a little shoulder peck here and there, they settle in really easily. When they are old enough you can also let them sleep in the coop in a dog crate so the older birds can get used to them being in there as well.

    As far as adding new birds into the coop at night? That has never, ever worked for me. The older birds are smart enough to know when they wake up that there is a new bird in the coop and unless you are there to supervise very early it's a really good way for the new ones to get the snot pecked out of them in the morning. I've had a new hen almost killed doing that. I would also never add just one new bird at a time, the more newbies you put in all together the less pecking any one of them will get. The older birds will fixate on a lone new bird whereas if there are several it diverts their attention.
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2013
    1 person likes this.
  8. FarmGirl01

    FarmGirl01 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 5, 2008
    I would wait until the chicks are almost full grown. If there is plenty of room for the new ones to hide the better chance of a smooth introduction. There will be fighting.
  9. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Chicken Obsessed

    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    Just to make sure you understand, 8 week old chicks are not old enough to mix with an established flock, and get anything less than a disaster. The new chicks need to be between 16-18 weeks old, depending on how big the older girls are.
  10. GreatWhiteAfro

    GreatWhiteAfro Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 27, 2013
    Casa Grande, Az
    I have a question....i currently have 2 girls that are about 4-5 weeks old. I want to add 2 more to my tiny flock but all I can find locally is babies. Can I brood them for 4-5 weeks the introduce them to the other girls that will be close to 10 weeks without incident or am I gonna need to find some girls closer to mines age already?

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