Introducing chicks to hens...................?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by zebber1, Aug 28, 2008.

  1. zebber1

    zebber1 Hatching

    Aug 16, 2008
    Need some advise from you chicken pros out there! [​IMG]

    My little chicks are soon going to outgrow their pen and then I'm going to have to let them in with my 2 hens that are now a little over a year old.

    I have heard some mixed things on this. Someone told me today that the hens may attack the little chicks! I certainly don't want that so how do you go about this? The chicks are about 2 weeks old now and the way they are acting and playing I bet they are going to feel crowded in about 1 to 1-1/2 weeks and I'm going to have to do something different.
  2. Beekissed

    Beekissed Free Ranging

    Do you have enough space to create a separate area for the chicks where the hens can see and hear them? Most folks integrate slowly in this manner, where the chickens are cohabitating but not really in physical contact with each other.

    I free range, so my case isn't typical. I had a place like I described above where they lived for 2 weeks, but when I integrated the two flocks, it was outside where the young ones could get away from the hens. I didn't let them mingle until the young ones were at 3 wks. of age. Mine are doing great but, in a confined run or coop, the chicks would probably have a harder time of it. Right now, they can outrun my fat ladies! My rooster is already looking out for them and hasn't tried to attack them at all.
  3. Teresaann24

    Teresaann24 Songster

    Jul 29, 2008
    Eastern, Kentucky
    wish i could help you but iv recently tried this also and things didnt turn out so well. I did the spliting the cage down the middle so all the chicks could get use to each other its been about 2 weeks now. I added my chicks today and found them pecking the blood from one of the younger chicks. All i can say is just keep an eye on them untill you think everyone is getting along.
  4. i personally wait until chickens are about the same size. i do a split pen and let them have plenty of time getting used to each other. Even then, there will be some pecking. i would be worried that two-week-olds could be killed by an adult hen.
  5. Teresaann24

    Teresaann24 Songster

    Jul 29, 2008
    Eastern, Kentucky
    I know I should have waited alil longer. Made a hard choice tho had a rooster I needed to put into a pen and it was my last option. Decided it had been long enough "2weeks" that they should get along. They did for about 4 hours and then all ___ broke loose. Caught them pecking the blood from one of my 10 week old chicks but wasn't bothering the others. Removed that chick and placed it in a pet taxi by herself for the night. So I should have waited longer....
  6. Teresaann24, i sure didn't say what i did to make you feel any worse than you already do. So sorry, it was just a general statement to zebber1's question.

    . . . and it probably all depends on the chickens and circumstances. i put a 3-week-old pullet with my lonely adult Penny as she desperately needed company, and they did just fine.

    Anyhow, sorry for your little chick!
  7. Teresaann24

    Teresaann24 Songster

    Jul 29, 2008
    Eastern, Kentucky
    Its ok...I just thought I'd gave them enough time now I know to wait longer. I got up at 7 this morning and put the 3 that was together before everyone seems so much happier now...LOL Lessons learned I guess.
  8. Hangin Wit My Peeps

    Hangin Wit My Peeps

    Apr 20, 2008
    Birnamwood, Wisconsin
    I would not put chicks in with hens at 2 weeks old...I did put 7 week olds in with 2 hens and 10 teens and the teens really took after them for a while. I kept the little 7 week old ones in a dog kennel inside the hen house so the others could see them and get used to them. That seemed to work ok. They are still at the bottom of the pecking order today but they never got pecked on bad enough to make them bleed. And now a month later it is finally getting to the point where they will allow them to eat with them somewhat. Usually they would eat when the hens were outside. The hens will try to keep them from eating the food too. And at 2 weeks maybe kill them. I would go to walmart and pick up a watermelon box...Mine has went through THREE broods so far and still holding strong. It's a nice thick box that fold flat.
  9. lizard7

    lizard7 In the Brooder

    May 14, 2008
    I had one hen and recently got 2 babies. At about 7 weeks I placed the small cage inside my coop with the hen and hoped that she would get used to them after a week or so. Well, 3 days into this, I went out one morning and the babies had escaped their cage and everyone was on a perch. No problems. But they do have plenty of room in the coop and places to get out of her way when needed. A happy hen, happy home! [​IMG]
  10. bluey

    bluey thootp veteran

    Apr 10, 2008
    Washington, PA
    I have a three step process:

    up to 8 weeks, they stay inside the garage in a brooder pen separate from the flock. I will put them in the outside intermediate pen on weekends when I'm home...

    8weeks-12,14 weeks (depending on size), I move them to the outdoor intermediate pen. My free ranging birds can interact with them and see them but only through the wire...

    at 12-14 weeks, I sequester them in the main coop for a few days to get them used to it, and establish the structure as "home" for them. At this point they are mixed with the other birds.

    No problems as of yet with this process ....of course they are subject to falling in line with the pecking order of things but that's just normal... If I saw any injuries, I'd be concerned but if you have proper space things should go okay....
    1 person likes this.

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