Introducing chicks to chicks?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by WILDaboutCHICKENS, Nov 22, 2011.

  1. WILDaboutCHICKENS

    WILDaboutCHICKENS Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 21, 2011
    Texas
    Howdy! So I am a proud new mom to 8 silkie chicks (should all be girls) that are a week old. These are our only chickens for now, but I have my eye on a silkie egg auction that would mean hatching chicks right at Christmas.
    What would it be like in late Jan/early Feb introducing 2 month old chicks to one month old chicks?? Obviously they would have been separated for a while, new chicks in brooder, older chicks would've been in coop outside by then. The coop is just for lock up at night as they will get free run during the day. What should I expect from this.... I'm just wondering if I should resist urge to buy eggs for now, but then I'm thinking that introducing chicks to chicks is better than adults to chicks?
    Advice anyone??
    Thanx!!
     
  2. extraordinaryfowl

    extraordinaryfowl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 6, 2011
    Lancaster, PA
    I wouldn't see why it would hurt, but if I were you I would wait until the younger ones are at least 8 weeks with such an age gap. I have introduced 5 month old bantams into flocks with birds almost 4 years old as big as Orpingtons and after the first 5 days or so they have usually figured out the pecking order.
     
  3. WILDaboutCHICKENS

    WILDaboutCHICKENS Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 21, 2011
    Texas
    Thanx!!
     
  4. emerald eyes

    emerald eyes Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 22, 2011
    I introduced my 3 month old chicks to my 18 month old hens this fall. I had 29 chicks and 3 hens, so the hens were outnumbered. I saw the hens were going after the chicks everytime a chick was nearby. I had to separate coops, so the time together for the first month was limited to an hour or two to start with and gradually increased. I was worried in August when I had to lock the chickens up for two days in the coop due to the hurricane that the chick were going to get picked on. They seemed to be okay, but the hens still didn't want the chicks anywhere near them. I continued the gradual introduction and started letting them out to roam together (they stayed separated in our yard) each day. This halloween we had a snow storm (crazy snow in Oct) and since then, the flock has been together. They have gotten used to each other, there is still some aggression when I throw scratch but other than that, they are staying together...which is different than two-three weeks ago. Since introducing them, I have found out that 5 of the 29 chicks are roos, which are being very protective of the chicks...but not the hens!

    I also have experience trying to introduce my flock of eight, 5 month old hens to two additional 3 month old hens. They never got along, we gave the two hens to a friend, they were getting picked on and their feathers were getting plucked out. The additional hens were smaller in size, very small rhode island reds as opposed to large delawares! We tried introducing a larger buff orph to the same flock of 11 (before we got gave away the reds), this hen even picked on the reds! However, this chicken never got accepted into the flock, which was thinned to 3 hens by predators this summer (so sad)...causing the purchase of the 29 chicks!


    My experience is that not only does size and number of the chick play into whether they will get accepted, but also the breed. I think that our combined flock finally got along because the hens were outnumbered and the chicks were quickly becoming similar in size. I hope this helps.
     

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