Introducing Chicks to the Main Flock

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by drdoolittle, Sep 23, 2011.

  1. drdoolittle

    drdoolittle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 30, 2010
    NE Indiana
    I have 11 chicks----all around the same age (they are now feathered out) and was wondering when I could introduce them to the main flock. 4 chicks are inside the house in a cage, 6 are with 3 mother hens (who hatched them), and 1 is with it's momma (who hatched it), they are all in a dog kennel with houses out in my big free-range pen, but separated by chicken wire (momma w/ 1 chick has her own side). I really would like all of them to move to the main coop as soon as possible----makes caring for everybody much easier. Would it be o.k. to integrate them all this weekend-----I don't want to lose any of them. I was thinking of putting all the babies and all 4 mommas in the main coop tomorrow evening after all the other chickens are roosting.
     
  2. OvertheHenHouse

    OvertheHenHouse Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 12, 2011
    San Diego
    I've got some questions for you [​IMG] How many weeks old are the chicks? Were the moms part of the original flock? How many chickens are in your main flock? While in the dog kennels, have they all had the opportunity to interact with all of your other chickens in your free-range pen?
     
  3. drdoolittle

    drdoolittle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 30, 2010
    NE Indiana
    The chicks are 7-8 weeks old, the moms were part of the original flock, altogether there are nd 40 chickens in the entire flock, and the dog kennel they are in is inside the big free-range pen and they have been interacting as far as being near and seeing each other-----some of the braver chicks have even ventured out of the kennel (even with it being covered in chicken wire, they still find ways out).

    I'm really concerned with the tiny silkie chick and the 4 indoor chicks (who I tried to integrate with the Mommas and chicks, but the mommas kept pecking them----I know this will happen no matter what, but they were only 2-3 weeks old at the time).

    If I do put them in the main coop, I can then use the kennel-coop for my Polish who don't seem happy in the main coop. Also, I could leave Momma silkie and her chick in the kennel while adding the other silkies and the Polish----they used to be kept together in there any way.
     
  4. babyrnlc

    babyrnlc Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 30, 2011
    Tulsa, Ok
    I put my chicks in at 4 weeks. I put something in the run that they can get into, but the older hens cannot. That way they can run and hide. I usually put water and food in there for the first few days and then I stop, they are usually integrated within that time. They still are low on the pecking order, but I have never lost a chick or even had bad feather picking.

    I love when I have a group of chicks and seeing the braver ones move into the big coop at night. Usually it is one or two, then half of them go in, then they all do. Once they are all choosing to go into the big coop at night, I take out there "cover" room. (Last time I used a dog house)
     
  5. drdoolittle

    drdoolittle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 30, 2010
    NE Indiana
    Well, I have an area under where the nest boxes are that I can fence off with fence the chicks can get through but not the adults----I will do that and then put the chicks in the coop. The only thing is that I don't think they'll be able to get out in the free range pen. I have a reg storm door on my coop and just open the window and have a ramp up to it in the coop and then a ramp down to the ground on the outside-----this is to allow the chickens access to both the coop and free-range pen and keep the goats out.
     
  6. OvertheHenHouse

    OvertheHenHouse Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 12, 2011
    San Diego
    It sounds like you've got a good plan. Me personally, I'd do it in the light of day and hang out with them for a while to make sure they're all adjusting - but that's just me.
    Good luck!
     
  7. donnavee

    donnavee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 7, 2009
    Central NC
    Quote:I agree. I normally integrate mine during the daytime for about a week, but let the newbies still sleep away from the main flock. After everyone becomes used to each other, we move the young ones to the main roost at night, and then I'm up at the crack of dawn to make sure everything is OK. I have done this twice with chicks, but never had to integrate mommas and chicks - not sure if it would be different.

    Good luck.
     
  8. Rosaleen

    Rosaleen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 18, 2011
    Danville, Vermont
    A couple of years ago, I hatched out some RIRs with my third grade class. As the chicks grew, some went to local farmers and families that raised chickens. I brought two home to add to my flock. At about 4 weeks of age, I decided to try to introduce them to the hens in the coop. I put them in the coop with the ladies to see how they would fair. The ladies were curious but not aggressive and the two little ones just huddled together, so I left them. I came back at dusk to check on them and put them back into the brooder for the night. I looked in the coop, all the ladies were on their roosts. I looked down into the shavings but I couldn't find the babies anywhere...I was devastated. Then I noticed one of the hens on a lower roost..she appeared to have six legs! Upon closer examination, she had one chick under each wing! EVERY NIGHT FOR THE NEXT FEW WEEKS, that hen kept those babies under her wings for the entire night. It was quite comical as the chicks grew and grew because her wings would extend out as the chicks became bigger and bigger. What a sight! I guess sometimes we become overprotective and forget that nature does follow its own course at times. Just thought I'd share this with you.
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2011
  9. OvertheHenHouse

    OvertheHenHouse Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 12, 2011
    San Diego
    Quote:What a great story, Rosaleen - thanks so much for sharing!
     
  10. drdoolittle

    drdoolittle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 30, 2010
    NE Indiana
    Well, I got an area set up so the chicks could get away from the adults if they needed to (with food and water). I first put the 3 momma hens and their 6 chicks in the coop---the chicks didn't want to stay in the separate area. There were a few other chickens in there at the time, and when one got too close to a chick, one of the mommas set her straight!

    I then put the 4 indoor chicks out in the coop----in the separated area----they are staying in there on their own for now.

    The silkie chick and momma I left in their section of the dog kennel, and then put my 4 Polish and my other silkies in the other part-----so they can all get to know the chick.

    I was nedlessly worried about the chicks being able to make their way from the coop out to the free-range pen----the mommas showed them the way! I was out in the free-range pen doing some chores for a few hours, and mommas and chicks were happily pecking away. None of the other chickens is messing with those babies-----I wouldn't either![​IMG]
     

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