Introducing artificially incubated chicks to the parent flock!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by chuckyjo, Feb 26, 2009.

  1. chuckyjo

    chuckyjo In the Brooder

    My 3 Miniature Ginger Oxford Game eggs are in the incubator and due to hatch in 5 days.

    I need to know how and when to introduce the little guys to the coop!

    Anyone done this and is there anything special I need to know?

    Will it need to be done gradually like you would with adult birds, or are babies a different story? Or should they not be introduced until they are a few weeks old-we will be keeping them in the house to start with as we did with our current flock-we won't be using a brooder.

    Any advice much appreciated!
  2. Roosteroops

    Roosteroops In the Brooder

    Feb 20, 2008
    Cary, NC
    We had luck when we waited until our pullets were about 18 weeks. We are lucky enough to have a small barn shed to use as a "half way house" for young hens. We put up chicken wire in every conceivable gap to both keep the birds in and keep our local fox out. There are ideas for quick and easy, small half way houses all over this site. Use a dog crate and staked down chicken wire with plywood plopped on top. Always consider your area's predator situation though.
    I absolutely would not put chicks in with an adult flock. I'm a "New Egg" too, but I'm fairly certain that is a no no.

    Also, you are in England right? - isn't pretty chilly there still? So, very young hens will need a warming light (normally the mama's wings and belly) to keep them warm for a while; like you mentioned you did with your current flock. It takes a while.

    Somewhere on this website there is a common post that tells you all this - I've forgotten now where it is. Someone will send it to you I'd bet.
  3. chuckyjo

    chuckyjo In the Brooder

    Thanks for that!

    Our babies are kept in the house (utility room) in a large crate with a heater and a grill on on the top. A thermometer stuck to the side lets us know it's warm enough, and it's gradually reduced until the chicks have their adult feathers and are hardy enough to go to the shed!

    Think I'll probably do exactly the same, then when they go into the shed with the others, either keep them in a dog pen like you said-in sight but out of reach, or chicken wire a section off until they get used to each other.

    We did this with one of our little pullets and it went ok.

    Thanks again!
  4. Marlinchaser

    Marlinchaser Songster

    Oct 18, 2007
    Easiest not to try to add a baby till it is about the size of full size birds, or they will get picked on. Then add them as you would a new bird, gradually introduce them.
  5. andehens

    andehens Songster

    Aug 25, 2008
    Scenic Sierra Nevadas
    Until they have enough size and mental moxy the adults will at best beat them up and at worst can kill them outright or not let them eat and drink. I introduce slowly and having a group like you do makes it easier on the chicks as the picking on is spread out.
    They have to establish a pecking order theres no getting around that!
  6. Shared Acres

    Shared Acres Songster

    Aug 10, 2008
    Northeast Fla
    If you have a broody she might take them.

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