Introducing New 4-5 week old chick to flock?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by IlliniAggie, Jul 11, 2016.

  1. IlliniAggie

    IlliniAggie Just Hatched

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    Hello there,

    This is my first post after lurking for some time! I currently have thee 4-week old mixed chicks and one 5-week old Easter Egger. Today, I ran a PCR to sex my chicks (I work in a molecular biology lab; easy to do) and discovered that the Easter Egger is a cockerel. Disappointment is high, especially since I had worked especially hard with him since he was rather skittish from the start, and he had just started to calm down significantly in the last week [​IMG]. Alas, my wife and I would really like an Easter Egger/Ameraucana in our flock, but I fear that the there is no safe way to introduce a new chick into the group. Has anyone had any experience doing this, introducing a similarly-aged or younger chick into a group?

    I worry that the only way to make it work would be to start raising another pair of chicks on their own, and we would rather not have to do that.

    Any experience/advise/reference to similar past posts appreciated!
     
  2. QueenMisha

    QueenMisha Queen of the Coop

    Welcome to BYC!

    Chicks of this age have little to no territorial instinct. If the new ones are comparably sized, they don't require any introductory measures.

    Being able to DNA sex your own birds! That's quite nifty. Wish I had that luxury.
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2016
  3. rosemarythyme

    rosemarythyme Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I had a similar situation - we identified a chick as a roo at around 4 weeks. After we removed him we went back to the feed store and got another chick from the same hatch batch and added her to our brooder with no issue. She passed away in an accident a couple of weeks later, so we immediately got 2 more chicks from the same store and batch, and after a brief introduction period on neutral ground (we just took them all to a different part of the yard to meet) the new chicks integrated without any fuss. (Obviously I didn't take the precaution of quarantining the new birds for disease or pests as I was hoping they'd all take to one another if I introduced the new ones while things were still in a state of flux. If that's a concern for you you probably shouldn't add them right away.)
     
  4. IlliniAggie

    IlliniAggie Just Hatched

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    Thanks for the reply! That's good to know, and gives me some peace of mind that it won't be too traumatic on anyone.
     
  5. IlliniAggie

    IlliniAggie Just Hatched

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    Thanks! The neutral ground idea is a good one.
     
  6. bjbingham

    bjbingham Out Of The Brooder

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    We just introduced a bunch of babes (around 4 weeks old) to a group of older chickens. The transition was amazing. As a newbie to chickens, I was excited that I was able to come up with a way to make the transition easier. You can find the thread here: https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1118919/transition-time.

    I would have loved to have had the ability to sex some of my chickens several months ago. I ordered some straight run Red Rangers. Out of 10 chicks, I only got 2 hens. Some of these are for 4-H and will be sold for meat, but I was hoping for a few more hens for laying.
     
  7. Half a dozen

    Half a dozen Out Of The Brooder

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    Queen misha your avatar is [​IMG]

    ahhhh dean winchester, wow is all i can say haha
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2016
  8. QueenMisha

    QueenMisha Queen of the Coop


    Haha, thanks. I like it too, Dean is my all-time favorite character.
     
  9. Half a dozen

    Half a dozen Out Of The Brooder

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    Mine to, plus he's just gorgeous!
     

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