Introducing a chick into older chickens

CKfarm22

Crowing
Jul 8, 2021
1,731
2,520
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Central NJ
Does anyone have any ideas on how to introduce a 4-8 week old chick into a 24-26 week old flock? I have three hens now and i want to get two more hens (hopefully between 4-8 weeks old). Before i do, does anyone have any suggestions on how to get the older hens introduced to the babies before i put them all together? I don’t want any babies being picked on.
 

tibbits

Chirping
Jul 11, 2021
39
38
54
i put my younger birds in a small fenced off area in the main coup for a week minimum to a month... this gets the older hens accustomed to seeing the young pullets every day... when i remove the fence the pullets seem to know thats their area, the hens wont bother them as much in that far corner... there is still some scrapping and pecking as they figure out the pecking order... just make sure to keep the fence up until the chicks are big enough to hold their own/get out of your older hens way... i have some nasty old RIRs that are always grumpy about new additions, but this works for the most part...
 

CKfarm22

Crowing
Jul 8, 2021
1,731
2,520
301
Central NJ
i put my younger birds in a small fenced off area in the main coup for a week minimum to a month... this gets the older hens accustomed to seeing the young pullets every day... when i remove the fence the pullets seem to know thats their area, the hens wont bother them as much in that far corner... there is still some scrapping and pecking as they figure out the pecking order... just make sure to keep the fence up until the chicks are big enough to hold their own/get out of your older hens way... i have some nasty old RIRs that are always grumpy about new additions, but this works for the most part...
My coop is not very big, but big enough to hold at least 6 chickens, would this still work? My coop is about 4x6
 

tibbits

Chirping
Jul 11, 2021
39
38
54
hmm... that might be a bit small, but you could try as long as they all have enough room to get around comfortably!! do your older chickens have a run so they can get out and stretch their legs if you divided off half of your coop?
 

CKfarm22

Crowing
Jul 8, 2021
1,731
2,520
301
Central NJ
hmm... that might be a bit small, but you could try as long as they all have enough room to get around comfortably!! do your older chickens have a run so they can get out and stretch their legs if you divided off half of your coop?
Yes my hens always go outside into the run, they will stay out there all day😂
 

Mrs. K

Crossing the Road
13 Years
Nov 12, 2009
11,537
19,883
756
western South Dakota
Is the entire set up 4 x 6, or is the coop 4 x 6, with an additional run attached? Pictures would help.

I train my chicks to sleep in a dog crate. Then I put the dog crate in a fenced off area in the run. At night, I lock the crate in the coop. After a couple of days, I make the fenced off area a one way gate, in which the chicks can go in and out, but the big girls cannot follow them. This lets them get brave and explore the bigger area, and retreat to safety as needed. It allows them to work it out on their terms, not human terms, and learn proper chicken society.

In a week, mine are eating with the big girls, with maybe occasional 'mind your manners' pecks, and I just leave the sleeping crate in the coop, with the gate open.

Mrs K
 

CKfarm22

Crowing
Jul 8, 2021
1,731
2,520
301
Central NJ
Is the entire set up 4 x 6, or is the coop 4 x 6, with an additional run attached? Pictures would help.

I train my chicks to sleep in a dog crate. Then I put the dog crate in a fenced off area in the run. At night, I lock the crate in the coop. After a couple of days, I make the fenced off area a one way gate, in which the chicks can go in and out, but the big girls cannot follow them. This lets them get brave and explore the bigger area, and retreat to safety as needed. It allows them to work it out on their terms, not human terms, and learn proper chicken society.

In a week, mine are eating with the big girls, with maybe occasional 'mind your manners' pecks, and I just leave the sleeping crate in the coop, with the gate open.

Mrs K
My coop alone is 4x6 with an attached 5x6 run
 

Mrs. K

Crossing the Road
13 Years
Nov 12, 2009
11,537
19,883
756
western South Dakota
You really don't have room if they are full sized birds. If they are bantams it should work.

Adding chicks to an established flock really needs more space, especially in the run where they spend most of the day. Unless you let them out of this set up for the full day? Sometimes people think that they can cheat if they let them out for a couple of hours, but it doesn't work like that.

Is there anyway you could double the space in your run? 10 x 6 = 60 sq feet, and that would give you space for 6 head. They recommend 10 square feet per bird, but that is a minimum.

Thing is, crowding can really cause very ugly behaviors in chickens. If they are getting along now, you might keep that number. 30 square feet in the run is perfect for 3 hens, and having a wee bit extra space in the coop is very good if you get bad winters.

In your profile - if you can give a general area where you are, it is helpful.

Mrs K
 

CKfarm22

Crowing
Jul 8, 2021
1,731
2,520
301
Central NJ
You really don't have room if they are full sized birds. If they are bantams it should work.

Adding chicks to an established flock really needs more space, especially in the run where they spend most of the day. Unless you let them out of this set up for the full day? Sometimes people think that they can cheat if they let them out for a couple of hours, but it doesn't work like that.

Is there anyway you could double the space in your run? 10 x 6 = 60 sq feet, and that would give you space for 6 head. They recommend 10 square feet per bird, but that is a minimum.

Thing is, crowding can really cause very ugly behaviors in chickens. If they are getting along now, you might keep that number. 30 square feet in the run is perfect for 3 hens, and having a wee bit extra space in the coop is very good if you get bad winters.

In your profile - if you can give a general area where you are, it is helpful.

Mrs K
I’ve had 6 birds with no problems. I had to give away three because they were roosters
 

CKfarm22

Crowing
Jul 8, 2021
1,731
2,520
301
Central NJ
You really don't have room if they are full sized birds. If they are bantams it should work.

Adding chicks to an established flock really needs more space, especially in the run where they spend most of the day. Unless you let them out of this set up for the full day? Sometimes people think that they can cheat if they let them out for a couple of hours, but it doesn't work like that.

Is there anyway you could double the space in your run? 10 x 6 = 60 sq feet, and that would give you space for 6 head. They recommend 10 square feet per bird, but that is a minimum.

Thing is, crowding can really cause very ugly behaviors in chickens. If they are getting along now, you might keep that number. 30 square feet in the run is perfect for 3 hens, and having a wee bit extra space in the coop is very good if you get bad winters.

In your profile - if you can give a general area where you are, it is helpful.

Mrs K
And the coop is homemade so there’s no way I can add on to the coop. I can add on to the run but we let them out to roam the yard a couple times a week. They all stay together anyway. I plan on only adding one or two more birds. My hens are small anyway
 

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