Intro to my flock....

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by chickenmamma296, Mar 7, 2017.

  1. I was wondering when to introduce my babies (chicks) to my big girls. I have two super sweet buff Orpingtons and I would like to know when is a good time to get my big girls used to the babies. Don't want any fights or anything like that. Any help would be much appreciated!
  2. boskelli1571

    boskelli1571 Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 7, 2011
    Finger Lakes, NY
    Hi there,
    How old are the little ones? I have found the best way to do it is put the little ones in a large dog crate or section of a piece of the run for them. This is the 'look no touch' part. This should go on for at least a week. Your Orpingtons may be sweet, but they will be less than welcoming to new members since they have to protect their status.
    I never put birds younger than 12 weeks in with the big girls, they should be at least 2/3 the size of the big girls.
    Once you do get them all together, make sure there are plenty of places for the youngsters to hide, boxes, dark quiet places etc. so they can escape if they feel threatened.
    You can expect a few scuffles but there shouldn't be any 'beat downs' if you see any blood, separate them immediately. The pecking order is not pretty, but it rarely gets vicious...hope that helps, keep us posted, [​IMG]
    1 person likes this.
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    I've found integrating chicks at about 4 weeks, after a couple weeks of 'see no touch', open tiny doors into main coop so chicks can get into safe haven, works great.
    Tiny chicks are less of a threat than bigger chicks.
    3 people like this.
  4. Eps32

    Eps32 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 22, 2015
    North Carolina
    Ya I introduced at about 5-6 weeks I have a section in my coop I made with hardware cloth I put them in there about a week let them at least get to know each other then let them loose with about a hour or so of supervision some stay with the flock some get picked on and go back to the section and I try again in a couple days
  5. azygous

    azygous Flock Master

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    The best way to introduce babies is to take them out for brief field trips starting around two weeks. Have a secure pen for them with small mesh around the bottom so tiny heads don't stick through and get clipped by older beaks. Choose the warm part of the day and they can handle a little while without heat. This also helps acclimate them to cooler temps, a process that should begin by the start of the second week, so they can be weaned off heat in a timely manner.

    I brood in my run, so the babies are already familiar to the adults. They start mingling with the adults at age two weeks, scooting in and out of their panic room as they get braver. They're fast little buggers, too.

    Brooding indoors, you will need to transport the chicks in and out, but that's how I used to do it and it worked great. Any method you come up with so the chicks can safely get acquainted with the adult flock and the adults with the chicks will work. They need a week or two in proximity for this to happen before you let them mingle. The chicks learn by watching the adults, learning the different temperaments, then they are better able to cope with the pecking order later when they merge.

    The younger the better. Small chicks are less threatening to adults and will have an easier time than if you wait until they are larger. Did I mention how fast they are?
    1 person likes this.

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