Introducing baby chicks to flock

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Missbumblebee, Oct 4, 2016.

  1. Missbumblebee

    Missbumblebee New Egg

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    Hello
    I had multiple Broody hens at one time, 2 hens that wanted to share the eggs in 1 hen box ! Once the chicks started to be born the hens were attacking them pecking them stomping on them it was horrible.I saved the first two chicks by taking them out of the coop, there was other eggs that had not hatched so I kept them in the coop. We were gone over night and 2 more were hatched 1 had been stepped on and flattened and the other was torn apart outside the coop ! it was horrible ... I took the remaining eggs out and hatched them myself now the chicks are getting big and need to go in the coop but I'm so afraid the hens will attack them again !
    I have read many suggestions on here trying to figure out the best approach ?
     
  2. HeyHouse

    HeyHouse Just Hatched

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    Oct 3, 2016
    I had the same situation once. The hens weren't trying to hurt the chicks so much as they were fighting each other for the nest space. Are your hens different breeds?

    When a hen raises chicks she does the job of integrating them into the flock for you. But if the hens won't take them, it'll be more difficult. How old are your chicks now? If they're still very young, you may want to separate the hens and designate the most peaceful one to be the mother.

    One method I usually use is to put the chicks in the coop inside a wire cage that protects them. It's important that the cage is see-through so the hens can see the chicks. After a few days, they'll get used to the chicks being there and won't pay them much attention. At that point, you can open the cage door and let the chicks start to leave on their own. If the hens are aggressive, they can always run back into the cage, but probably they'll be fine.
     
  3. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

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    Africa - near the equator
    Good advice above from HeyHouse. The likelihood of a repeat performance should no longer exist, since your once broody hens will no longer have the broody hormones running high. Here's a few links that compliment the advice already given.

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1126547/topic-of-the-week-integrating-chicks-into-an-adult-flock

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1069595/introducing-chicks-to-adults#post_16276224

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/introducing-new-chickens-using-the-see-but-don-t-touch-method

    Rule of thumb is to wait until the chicks are 8-10 weeks old before attempting integration.

    Good luck
    CT
     
  4. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    Regardless of how mean and nasty you adult flock is, you can integrate baby chicks safely by utilizing the panic room method. This takes HeyHouse's method a step further by creating chick-size openings in the safe enclosure so the chicks can come and go at will, mingling with the flock, and then finding safe refuge where the adults aren't able to follow.

    You can safely integrate as young as two weeks with this method. But it does require the chicks to be raised alongside the adults so they are all familiar with each other prior to the chicks being able to mingle. This is important so that the chicks become acquainted with each adult's temperament so there are no surprises.

    Brooding outdoors in your run is the best all around way to integrate. I wrote about it for BYC, linked below this post.
     

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