Introducing chicks to your current flock?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by flockoffour, Dec 23, 2012.

  1. flockoffour

    flockoffour Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 28, 2012
    West Coast
    I was wondering what would be the best way to introduce chicks to current flock members. (4 hens) If I were to order baby chicksofrom a hatchery, and raise them in a brooder, how/when should I introduce them? Do I still need to quarintine them in a different part of the yard when they can first go outside? How old should they be before I introduce them?
    Any advice/information would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks!
     
  2. Hennyhandler

    Hennyhandler SilkieJax

    Jun 10, 2009
    Cullman
    Honestly, I can't remember what the exact age they need to be before they can go out. I know when by looking at them when it is time. I'll tell you what I know though. Whether you are introducing or not chicks have to have their feathers before they can really go outside so that is number one. Slowly lower the temps of the brooder until they are used to the temp outside.
    They have to be integrated over time cause the older chickens will harass them. So you should segregate them away from the older ones but within sight so that they can get used to each other. Then after a week or so you could try to let them out together under supervision to see how they act together. There may be some chasing but that is them establishing the pecking order. Just don't allow them to attack and draw blood. If this happens, remove them. Also, you can move the new chickens in with the older chickens at night. They will sometimes wake up in the morning and never realize there are more chickens. They still need to be within sight before this method also though. I hope this helps a little.
     
  3. arcy liger

    arcy liger Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 6, 2012
    you can introduce them when they are 16 weeks but small introductions can be made in the yard ........
    do not let them out or in the coop untill they are well introduced and establish the pecking order so they are not cold (alone)
     
  4. skunknchatter

    skunknchatter Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 19, 2007
    Northern Utah
    I section off a corner of the run and put a small dog house in it (for shelter) and put the 3-4 month old chicks in that corner. This way the flock can get used to them without being able to attack them. Usually the chicks eventually figure out how to fly over their containment fence and by the time they do that they seem to fit in pretty well. This is what has worked for me because I like to get them out of the house and in with everyone else ASAP. I do have a smaller coop (used to be a rabbit hutch a looooong time ago) that I'll put them in with a heat lamp until they don't need heat anymore. Then it's out to the big coop with them. I also don't hatch in the winter so this might not work for you.
     

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